YONKERS, NY – The Yonkers City Council weeks ago passed a
resolution that would transfer funds residing within the Yonkers City Clerk’s
budget that was set initially allocated for the meeting the costs of election related expenses. Fearing a future
chargeback for election-related expenses Councilmember John
Murtagh, and Councilmember Dee Barbato admonished the City
Council against approval of the transfer.
The situation caused legal wrangling over the power of the
Executive and Legislative branches of government. It would cause James LaPerche
of the Department of Finance to write an advisement to the New York State
Comptroller of the transfer of funds. Upon hearing of the transfer
authorization, Mayor Amicone advised that the transfer should not have been
authorized and that he would veto it.
In desiring to transfer the funds despite any objections, the Yonkers City
Council majority stipulated that $301,000 remain within the budget of the Yonkers
City Clerk, $25,000 allocated for City Council salaries, $20,000 allocated for
City Council President salaries, and $4,000 allocated for City Council
President printing fees.
In the meanwhile, the NYS Comptroller issued authorization
to the funds transfer notice by LaPereche without knowledge of Westchester
County Executive Andy Spano’s letter dated February 21, 2007, addressed to Mayor Amicone advising of his intention to chargeback the City of Yonkers for election-related expenses as he is allegedly authorized by the
Election Consolidation and Improvement Act. CEO Spano’s contention is refuted
by Yonkers Corporation Counsel Frank Rubino who contends that the county is responsible
for election related expenses and not the municipality.