The Political Hezitorial Analysis
CONCEPTUAL BACKGROUND, PERHAPS TOO CEREBRAL: As is so typical of boys desperate to get their way, the most pertinent aspect of planning an outcome is strategy. It is also known and accepted that in many disciplines the capacity of thinking outside the box demands creativity or mimicry. Historical perspective has relegated a minority few to impose control over other forces. And so there are known and unknown fields that have been turned red with the blood of men overpowered by those stronger. Science has proven inexact by our lack of appreciation of Mother Nature’s building blocks only to be celebrated by our understanding her complexity and the natural order of things we know, and things we have yet to appreciate. As laudatory as understanding and thereby appreciation may be, mankind seems incapable of respecting Mother Nature’s order and likewise dismissive of man’s constructs in our own devices. While understanding Mother Nature is a study of order still not fully understood, comprehending the feeble minds of man’s mechanisms of control as more easily understood, especially when the deciphered, including this author, are weaned on appreciating its connivance by its very repetitiveness. In fact, capacity to recognize the often mislabeled “brain storming” session as mimicry rather than creativity in conceptualization is because Madison Avenue suggests what we are witnessing is evolution when in reality we are witnessing “spin”. Many people have the capacity to recognize Madison Avenue’s wiles because they discern through lenses unadulterated by conflicts of interest. It is conflicts of interests that cloud our individual and collective capacity. We understand something is afoot yet can’t always appreciate the dramas of spin, denial, acquiescence, repackaging of these plots and ploys, that throw too many of us off the beaten track to deny that we are slowly being turned from what we understand. It is the audaciousness of denial and spin, and postulations that are wanting that denies validating the foreboding we feel. And so it is with term limits as it is defined in Yonkers to two terms of four years each for the Yonkers Mayor, the Yonkers City Council President, and the Yonkers City Council members.
HISTORY, PRESENT REALITY, JUST THE FACTS: The issue of term limits has twice previously come before the Yonkers electorate who trounced each referendum that asked for their approval. Those were the moments when Yonkersites recognized something untoward was happening. While Yonkerites may not have been able to articulate the complexity of what appalled them over the issue, they felt a discomfort that would become a sigh of relief upon its failure to gain a majority vote of support. When the issue was presented a second time Yonkersites were insulted by the temerity of its being attempted a second time. Some questioned if Yonkers City Hall was deaf to their renouncing the initial effort, and why they had to repeat their rejection by majority vote again. And it seemed Yonkeristes believed the second go round would end the effort to undermine and dismiss the electorate. Or so that thought. And it was the end of that. Yonkersites conveniently forgot, if only for a moment, that the issue would rear its ugly head again. And it has. The issue has reared its ugly head!
Yonkers Tribune was first to point out last year that Yonkers City Hallers in another one of those too often faked “brain storming” sessions turned to mimicry to remedy their concern for holding onto control of the wealth of Yonkers. They had not planned on the diminishing capacity of Mayor Mike Spano to credibly launch a campaign effort to challenge incumbent Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino in 2017. We learned of Mayor Mike Spano retreating and recoiling from that challenge as his onetime prowess fizzled out when we reported that New York State Senator George Latimer had become the favored, credible candidate to challenge Mr. Astorino.
As an aside, Ken Jenkins’ efforts to remain in the race for Westchester County Executive, despite his overwhelming loss to Mr. Latimer in the Westchester County Democratic Committee Primary with a final tally of 71 percent for George Latimer, 28 percent for Ken Jenkins, and 1 percent for Davin Spano, is coming to a screeching, and financially exhausted demise by a lack of funding.
When Yonkers Tribune first noted that Yonkers City Hall had learned how they could disregard the public’s twice denying rescinding term limits by way of referenda, we also learned and divulged that Yonkers City Hall was going to mimic former Mayor Mike Bloomberg who had decided to beseech the New York City Council for their support for his launching a third term effort for Mayor. They approved his legal standing to launch a third term effort for New York City Mayor by majority vote of the New York City Council. He would come to be a third term Mayor, serving a total of 12 years in office.
When Yonkers Tribune revealed that Yonkers City Hall would replicate Bloomberg’s successful effort to eclipse Yonkers past effort to gain the ability to rescind term limits, but rather to soften the gall of the effort, only extend term limits by another four-year term, the assault on the integrity of our reporting was denied by none other than Yonkers City Councilman Christopher Johnson representing District 1. He was insulted as if The Yonkers Tribune had suggested he would vote for extending term limits. The Yonkers Tribune did not specify any one individual albeit we did note that some of the City Councilmen were onboard in approving such a request by Mayor Mike Spano’s Executive Branch of office upon its receipt by the Yonkers City Council, the Legislative Branch of office or City Hall desire to extend term limits. We pointed out then, and it is likewise pertinent and valid today, and for the balance of the Year 2017, and potentially for the Year 2018. The prospect for extending term limits seems more likely in 2017 than next year.
Mind you there is much talk that Mayor Mike Spano is not in need of the money; that his prospects for future employment under the aegis of the Empire Strategic Planning lobbying firm founded by elder brother, former New York State Senator Nick Spano, among other lobbying firms is valid. Albeit being another deflective ruse. The issue is not Mike Spano’s capacity to earn a living. At issue is the collective capacity for control of the wealth of the City of Yonkers by the Spano Family for their need to maintain employment of their siblings, those they marry, those they may be dating, past paramours, the ever growing patronage mill of maligned employees that need to be silenced, some with jobs, others with no show jobs, and those that are moved from one provisional position to the next, because they cannot pass the civil service exams. Such is government in Yonkers, and to be fair, in other municipalities, as well.
The Yonkers City Council will likely need to contend with the issue of term limits extension this year because the prospect of gaining support this year presently looks stronger than the potential of a 2017 Yonkers City Council next year. We engage herein in deciphering the rationale of future conduct and do so in the order the vote must be cast, that is, for each Yonkers City Council member starting with District 1 through 6 and ending with the Yonkers City Council President casting the final vote.
The prospect of Christopher Johnson, representing District 1, running for Westchester County Legislator in his second term, to which he has another two years before being term limited allows him to be on one side of the equation this year. In 2017 he on record against extending term limits; in 2018, should he lose the contest for Westchester County Legislator, as seems to be his prospect presently, his position may change in order that he can maintain the option of maintaining his office as City Councilman should his district return him to office in the election of 2019. Outcome: 2017 – No; 2018 -Yes!
Yonkers City Councilwoman Corazon Pineda-Isaac, represents District 2. She is running for a second term and is unlikely to override the public interest for extending term-limits. She did not gain the endorsement of the Yonkers City Democratic Committee for her campaign effort who instead gave their support to the former Yonkers City Councilman Wilson Terrero, representing the same district which he lost to the then newcomer and present City Councilwoman Corazon Pineda-Isaac. Outcome: 2017 – No; 2018 – Moot if she loses the election contest.
Yonkers City Council Minority Leader Michael Sabatino is also half way through his second term in office. He represents District 3. Should the issue of term limits being extended come before the Yonkers City Council as the Yonkers Tribune expects it to, Mr. Sabatino can take cover from the final vote because only a simple majority vote is required to extend term limits another term. Even though Mr. Sabatino can take cover and not expose his desperation to maintain himself in office, he advises in hushed tones his interest in becoming a member of the administrative staff member of the conjectured next Mayor of Yonkers, that is, present NYS Assemblymember Shelley Mayer. Ms. Mayer has expressed interest to run for Mayor of Yonkers in the 2019 election when she would face off against incumbent Mayor Mike Spano should term limits be extended. Outcome: 2017 – No; 2018 – Yes, because his husband, former aide in the Shelley Mayer administration, in search for a better job than the $35,000 per annum under Mayer’s employ extorted a job valued at $70,000 per annum from Mayor Mike Spano’s Administration by demanding an additional $10,000 per annum, a total of $80,000, his present remuneration by the City of Yonkers. Therefore, should the vote over term limits not take place in 2017, instead allowed to await a vote in 2018, expect heavy arm twisting of Minority Leader Sabatino to vote for extending term limits to benefit his husband. Otherwise, Robert Voorheis, the husband will find himself unemployed, and Sabatino’s prospects will be undermined and likely find himself expunged out if Yonkers politics.
Outcome: 2017 – No, with a possibility of being manhandled to arrive at voting as directed; 2018 – No, with arm twisting, if necessary. Such is the outcome of being conflicted and serving two masters.
Term limits will come before the Yonkers City Council for a vote in 2017 if the present configuration of office holders are required to deliver a minimum 4 to 3 vote outcome because the election results of November 7, 2017 result in winning office holders not being able to muster the minimum 4 to 3 minimum win to gain City Council approval for extending term limits and thereby keeping hold of power over the City of Yonkers.
Yonkers City Councilman Dennis Shepherd, serving District 4 is serving his last term in office. He is term limited. John Rubbo (R) is running to serve District 4, as is Maeve Scott (D). Term limits, likely to be presented before the present City Council membership will unlikely come before either candidate because neither is an office holder this year. While there is rationale to choose one over the other, there is no urgency to reveal the thinking of the Yonkers Tribune’s Editor-at-Large so as to permit the electorate to make their decision known Election Day, November 7, 2017, or a day or two thereafter.
Outcome: 2017 – Yes; 2018 – Moot and unknown as present candidates have yet to win the backing of the electorate.
Yonkers City Councilman Michael Breen, representing District 5 is almost half-way through his second term in office. He has aspirations to run two years hence for Westchester County Legislator Gordon Borrows’ sear believing Mr. Borrows will seek his last term in office in 2017 and affording Mr. Breen to consider running for the Westchester County Legislator seat representing Legislative District 15 which he covets. Mr. Breen’s wife, Patty, is awaiting the opportunity to succeed her husband on the Yonkers City Council seat to represent District 5.
Outcome: 2017 – Yes; 2018 – Yes.
Yonkers City Council Majority Leader John Larkin is term limited. He represents District 6. Tony Pagano is intent on winning the election. He is endorsed by the Conservative Party and Independence Party; Anthony Merante is endorsed by the Republican Party, and Matthew Orefice is endorsed by the Democratic Party.
Outcome: 2017 – Yes; 2018 – Moot at present as the three-way race is undecided.
Yonkers CIty Council President Liam McLaughlin is the incumbent. He is running for a second term. He is the designated Republican nominee. Newcomer Michael Khader will challenge him as the designated Democratic Party, Independence Party, Working Families Party, and Women’s Equality Party candidate.
Outcome: 2017 – Yes; 2018 – Moot at present, as the McLaughlin / Khader race is yet to be decided.
The Yonkers Tribune has heard the chatter of denial, as well as the chatter of the issue of term limits being extended being a reality. Not only is it a reality to be placed before the Yonkers City Council this year because of Yonkers City Hall’s uncertainty over the outcome of the November 7, 2017 election results, but also City Hall’s equivocation and ambivalence over their support of some of the candidates they have suggested they do endorse but in reality are shrinking from with ever nuanced subtlety. Their final decision making will eventually become known though they are presently, safely ensconced under an umbrella of plausible deniability as they work out what serves them best. CIty Hall is still in search of winners, they cannot afford a loser. A losing hand will bring about a failed two more years for a lame duck. Yonkers City Hall is planning for 6 more years. Wishful thinking? Perhaps two years down the road the Yonkers electorate will cast their decision.
The election results of the November 2017 will likely sow the seeds for a third term in office option for Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. Will extending term limits give him a third term? It could, yet lest anyone forget, in Yonkers, 3 months is a lifetime.
Pagano swings to Mike Spano, Dee thought to have no gravitas, think Merante is a loser.