Yonkers Mayor Amicone Vetoes FY 2009-2010 Budget

eHezi Archives 61 Comments

Amicone_SignsBudgetVeto Asserts Budget Would Decimate Police Service and Harm Quality of Life

Yonkers, NY — Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone today addressed the members of the Yonkers City Council by letter in which he writes, "I am returning to you special ordinances relating to the Fiscal Year 2010 Operating Budget, without my approval. Effective today I have vetoed this legislation and this message outlines my reasons for doing so."

Mayor Amicone pictured vetoing budget legislation.

In the next paragraph Mayor Amicone states, "I must begin by expressing my utter disappointment over the reckless and irresponsible manner with which you have conducted this year's budget process. For the third year in a row, you have disregarded your City Charter mandated responsibility to adopt a budget on time by June 1. Instead, you placed the city in jeopardy of running out of money by adopting a budget three weeks late. In effect, you risked shutting down city government because of your inability to do your job."

Admonishing the Yonkers City Council further, Mayor Amicone continues, "Aside from your flawed process, this budget is unacceptable and I cannot in good conscience sign it into law because:
1. the budget you adopted does not adeqautely provide for the safety of the people of Yonkers;
2. the budget you adopted will negatively impact basic city services and quality of life throughout the city."

"In summary," Mayor Amicone continues, "your budget makes too many compromises with respect to the publick's safety and welfare that I find completely unacceptable. Further, the service cuts you have enacted will undoubtedly impact quality of life across our city for the worse."

Municipal services most adversely affected by the City Council's budget cuts fall within the police department, which had $2.2 million-or 18%- slashed from its overtime budget. The overtime cuts would impact nearly every aspect of police operations including foot posts, neighborhood patrols, traffic details, anti-crime units, anti-drug units, and security at special events. Details follow:

-Elimination of the precinct Anti-Crime Units – 2 sergeants and 4 police officers
-Elimination of the Domestic Violence Unit – 4 police officers
-Unable to provide additional police coverage at special events
-Transfer two detectives to Field Services
-Reduction of Housing Unit police officer minimums
-Transfer a police officer from the Criminal ID Unit to late tour patrol
-Transfer a police officer from the Criminal ID Unit to early tour patrol
-Transfer a police officer from the NYSPIN Unit to late tour patrol
-Transfer two police officers from the Traffic Unit to patrol
-Transfer a sergeant to late tour Communications Division
-Transfer a sergeant from the Traffic Unit to Patrol
-Transfer a sergeant from the Housing Unit to Patrol
-Reduce minimum manning level in Detective Division by one detective

Total Police Cuts: $2,200,000

The police department wasn't the only one hit hard by the City Council's budget. A 2% across-the-board cut to most city departments will result in many other citywide service reductions, some of which are listed below.

City Council Budget Cuts (non-public safety):

-Cut at least half of the community group funding through parks department

o Boy's & Girls Clubs (12 in total)
o My Sister's Place
o Yonkers Philharmonic
o African American Heritage Festival
o Youth Theater Interaction
o Puerto Rican / Hispanic Day Parade & Festival
o Untermeyer Performing Arts Council
o Cultural concerts (Italian, Irish, etc.)
o Youth programs (Global Basketball, Westchester Invaders, Runyon Heights, etc.)
o Recreational programs (Westside Tennis, Yonkers Kayak Club, etc.)

-$1.2 million cut to affordable housing projects
-Elimination of grant matches for senior citizen services
-Elimination of support services for internet-based city services

o Online cahier payments for city taxes, parking fines, violations, etc.
o Action Center / 311 Help Line
o GIS services (property / tax records)

-Delay in implementing court-ordered firefighter civil service examination
-Elimination of building department's 24-hour Heat & Oil Program
-Code enforcement reductions (litter, noise violations, consumer protection, etc.)

Mayor Amicone continued to assail the City Council budget, "These cuts would affect everything from youth programs to maintenance of public facilities. They would profoundly impact quality of life in Yonkers by impeding our ability to enforce city code requirements, construct new affordable housing and continue key economic development initiatives. These cuts are extremely shortsighted and would cause more damage to the city over the long term than the minimal savings they would produce in the short term."

"The City Council failed to meet its City Charter mandated deadline to adopt a budget by June 1, finally passing a scaled back version of the budget three weeks late on June 20. The Council's delay and inaction has pushed the city to the brink since the budget must still be sent to the state comptroller for final certification," concluded Mayor Amicone.

The budget now goes back to the City Council for reconsideration. Five votes are needed to override a mayoral veto.

A request for a comprehensive response of the Office of the Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick made of Adam Brill is pending dissemination.

Source: Cuts supplied by the Yonkers Mayor's Office

eHeziYonkers Mayor Amicone Vetoes FY 2009-2010 Budget

Comments 61

  1. I have been a resident of this messed up city all of my life! Once, long ago, I took a civil service test one of many. There was usually a provisional already in place or another person got the job because they had the right hook to pull them in. This city s a disgrace and corrupt. One must know the right person to get a job in this great city! The taxes keep on going up and the quality services are going down. What happen to our public schools! we need to focus on the future of our children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    These jerks have their priorities mixed up! God help us!!!!!!!!!!


    Dude Flemming is the biggest fucking loser on the Mayors staff. He is a GOON~!

    (PAUSE)giggle… (PAUSE)…

  5. i agree the garbage men are running to the bank did you know liam’s brother is a garbage man and ex nyc cop making more money as garbage man

  6. 0522 stop your crying because nobody cares. You signed the dotted line so you knew what you getting into. Plenty of people have done what you claim to do and never complained. The best thing that could happen to you is that they ship your crybaby ass over to Afghanistan and then you will know what suffering and tough really is not your chicken shit job.

  7. don’t forget those on their duff’s down at the court house for hours on end collecting ot or those on their cell phones for hours and hours on tuckahoe road, acting as flagmen. I could go on and on but why bother because it’s all corrupt.


  9. You can! Just pass the test and the physical and then deal with low lifes and violence. Work a different shift every week. Take shit from your bosses. Get blamed for the overtime (no crime, no overtime) and have to occasionally face down a gun in the hands of a violent criminal. It’s easy!

  10. Love The YPD,
    I thought I heard the same thing on the radio as I was driving into work from my house in Briarcliff this morning. Couldn’t get the whole report cause the radio on my 7 series BMW has been acting up lately.
    Well gotta run, need to wipe the sleep from my eyes in order to fill out a couple of overtime slips.
    Keep us posted on that recession thing will ya.

  11. -Doug Coletey on the Hot Seat
    -Cavallo Denies Independence Line to Yonkers Amicone Republicans-Why?
    Come view all this and more on YonkersRising.com

  12. I guess thats all he learned.
    This guy is an idiot and he needs to go and take his crew with him asap!
    We need a citywide coup.

  13. Larkin hasn’t even been elected yet and already he’s looking to fleece the taxpayers. Another bottom feeding parasite.

  14. To Control Board Now…
    Boy, do you have it right.
    This group of “leaders” in the City are a total joke.
    Cutting 18% of OVERTIME! is entirely prudent. Cut more!!
    Does anybody know how to run anything around here?
    Bring in a Control Board!

  15. To Butch, he did learn from Spencer how to be a great spender. Who do you think started the car giveaways? Who do you think hired Lopez, Peterson, Galvin and most of the other parasites? This all started under the tenure of John Spender.

  16. Is the mayor liable for all of his illegal people???? More millions to his friends and family…. To hell with the TAX PAYERS!

  17. Don’t forget we also have a raise coming up….GOD BLESS THE YPD>>>>AND MY HOUSE IN SCARSDALE>>>>YONKERS SUCKERS>>>>The best part of YONKERS is the O.T. ..I would LIKE TO SEE an 8% RAISE IN YONKERS TAXES>>>The craziest thing happened yesterday while i was trying to catch a nap while i was o.t. watching a hole on yonkers ave…8080 news was talking about a”recession” has any one else heard anything about this…IS 8080 news CRAZY WHAT RECESSION>>>>>

    June 25, 2009
    State: Nine Yonkers City Hall appointees must take Civil Service test
    Len Maniace
    YONKERS – New York state has rejected the city’s request to reclassify the positions of nine government workers so they would not have to take Civil Service tests.
    Six of the positions are in Mayor Phil Amicone’s office. They include mayoral aide Gail Burns, who is the Westchester County Conservative Party chairwoman and a onetime aide to former state Sen. Nicholas Spano, R-Yonkers. Burns, who made $92,0087 last year, has worked as a provisional employee since 2007, well beyond the nine-month limit.
    The state Civil Service Commission reclassified six other job titles at the city’s request, including that of City Council aide and the job held by another high-profile employee, former Democratic City Councilwoman Lorraine Lopez. Lopez was hired by former Republican Mayor John Spencer in 2001 and serves as special assistant for minority affairs. She was paid $135,000 last year.
    The city withdrew requests to reclassify jobs for seven other employees before the state could rule.
    The Journal News obtained copies of the decisions June 19 through the state Freedom of Information Law. The state commission ruled in April.
    The Yonkers Civil Service Commission plans to retool the job descriptions for the rejected and withdrawn positions and resubmit them to the state, mayoral spokesman David Simpson said yesterday. One of those is Simpson’s post, assistant to mayor for communications. He has been at his job since 2006.
    Last year, 2.7 percent of Yonkers workers were provisional employees, down from 13.2 percent in 2003, according to the state cmmission. That’s lower than Niagara Falls, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo, but higher than White Plains. Simpson said the figure had fallen to 0.6 percent last month. That figure could not be independently confirmed.
    City Councilwoman Joan Gronowski, D-3rd District, has criticized the mayor for failing to reduce the number of provisional employees in his office.
    “The mayor is now blaming (the council) for ending the fireworks,” Gronowski said. “But you know what? Get rid of one of your politically affiliated jobs and you could have the fireworks.”
    Amicone on Tuesday canceled the July Fourth fireworks, blaming budget cuts.
    Simpson said the mayor believes he should pick employees he trusts for jobs in his office and not have to rely on Civil Service lists; he noted that the council’s aides were exempted from the Civil Service tests.
    Simpson said other mayors around the state have made similar requests.
    “It just makes sense – the people who work in the executive office have to deal with a number of sensitive policy matters and political matters,” he said.

  19. Why is Westchester Republican Chairman Douglas Colety upset at Conservative Party honcho Gail Burns and her handler, former State Senator Nick Spano? Give up? Because by not awarding Rob Astorino the conservative line, it put his chances of beating Andy Spano in jeopardy…
    …and thus, any chances of Colety getting those lucrative county printing jobs from Astorino to fill his greedy pockets.

  20. It will be interesting to see if one of the five who voted for this budget cracks. It will be left to either annabi or gronowski to then become the fifth vote to override the veto, even though they voted against this budget. If they don’t, the mayor’s budget stands. Even though the budget the council voted isn’t great, at least the tax rate is less than that proposed by the mayor, and it is either one of the two that is the only option.

  21. to the above poster: you are far too polite.
    i would choose a few other words for these union crooks.
    i’ll refrain for the moment.

  22. As soon as someone mentions the YPD abuse of overtime a comment appears about DPW Garbage men who are allowed to go home after finishing the route. Soon after we get a comment about the firemen who are paid while sleeping.
    Bottom line it is all about civil servants abuse of the system.
    DPW- if you can finish your routes in three hours then it is obvious that they are not long enough
    YPD- Please,enough with the pension padding and special details. If 8 cops can sit down for breakfast at the same time in the same diner than we have enough cops.
    YFD- Give me a break. You are paid over 50 dollars an hour to sleep.Work 12 hour shifts. If you want a meal go out and get it like every other employee. Enough with the gourmet kitchens. If you can be on the clock when you are shopping at Stew Leanords you can be on the clock at KFC.

  23. It is utterly frustrating to hear the same debate circling the same “nice to haves” vs. “need to haves”
    We know, as the people what we need to have and expect from even this city. The nice to haves seem to always been divvied up around people who do a lousy job of running the “need to have” depts.
    We need to have a safe city & expect that.
    We need to have a FAIR & balanced budget in relation to the GDP of this city pre and state or fed money. Yonkers never looks at the rainey day because its inability to show that type of fiscal responsibility in the past hasn’t carried it’s legacy forward to today.
    Yonkers somehow, in its wisdoms needs to “step it up”. The old saying, “You are only as good as your last game” in relation to this entire city “opperational” mastermind, says a lot here becasue if this was a game, and we were trying to play to WIN, We would be alike to the LA Clippers or the Detroit Lions.

  24. Where do Larkin, Winnicki, Castro-Blanco stand on this??? Are they for raising our taxes? The quiet is buzzing in my ears.

  25. Garbage men work four hours a day!!!! LOL. It’s more like 2-3 hours a day. And than with all the deals they make with each other about taking days off without calling in. Everybody knows about it for decades yet nobody ever does anything about it.

  26. you tools are worried about the PD overtime how about the garbage men that work 4 hours and get paid for 8, are you people kidding me that you are so anti cop that you can’t see how bad the garbage men are scamming the city – WAKE UP MORONS

  27. You would of thought he wopuld have learned from Spencer on how to be a great Mayor…
    Guess not… was he sleeping the whole time!
    Phil, get out.

  28. You would be surprised how many police officer positions are hidden away from public view doing non patrol functions, just look at the commissioners office and chiefs offices, lord, there must be at least half a dozen cops stashed away there alone.

  29. What should not be lost in all this turmoil is the simple fact that City Council President Chuck Lesnick was for the mayor’s budget before he was against it, and his flip-flop only came when he realized it wasn’t gonna pass in the Council. Lesnick ain’t worth a Confederate dollar himself. None of them are.
    If the mayor ain’t out of touch, then he is stubborn and arrogant. And maybe greedy. But I think he is completely out of touch, and stubborn and arrogant on top of that. It ain’t a good combination.

  30. Amicone paints a doomsday scenario concerning the YPD but the fact of the matter is that all of the YPD personnel that have shuffled around they still are on patrol. Like Gunney Highway said “improvise, adapt and overcome” Mr Mayor.

  31. Amicone paints a doomsday scenario concerning the YPD but the fact of the matter is that all of the YPD personnel that have shuffled around they still are on patrol. Like Gunney Highway said “improvise, adapt and overcome” Mr Mayor.

  32. Amicone paints a doomsday scenario concerning the YPD but the fact of the matter is that all of the YPD personnel that have shuffled around they still are on patrol. Like Gunney Highway said “improvise, adapt and overcome” Mr Mayor.

  33. He’s not out of touch. He’s out & out greedy. The first thing he did after assuming office was to Phil his pockets with unused vacation and personal time. This was done after spending the whole summer on the campaign trail and the golf course. He also signed on to a raise for himself and staff. The same year he raised taxes some 14%. Yes, I think we can say he’s GREEDY.

  34. Y’all should not forget how ridiculous this is. It’s now a squabble over just how much to raise your taxes. The Council wants to raise them too, just not as much as the mayor does. So you lose bad or not quite as bad. But you still lose.
    If the Council was gonna fight with the mayor, they should have done the right thing by the taxpayers and made some real cuts instead of the tokenism they actually delivered. Bad job all around.
    The mayor seems out of touch in that ivory tower of his. He doesn’t relate at all to the taxpayers of the city. Neither does the Council when you get down to it.

  35. Amicone has proven time and time again that he is not a fiscal conservative as he claims. The Amicone motto has become tax, borrow, & spend.

  36. The city council bent over backwards for the mayor and they got kicked in the ass. Serves them right. Had they stood by the home owners, you know, the people they are suppose to represent, they could have been heroes.

    The Mayor just cuts the good things Yonkers have… like fireworks. Not the phones, cars and his private parties.
    You’re a TOOL Amicone

  38. If this jerk would get rid of the nascar driver, the brawler, the leaf blower girl, the excess cars how many cops could they hire. If this is soooooo important, than why??

  39. That still leaves the YPD with 9 million in OT. If they transferred 5 million of the 9 million into salaries they could hire more than 50 cops. With an additional 50 cops and 4 million in overtime the YPD should be able to do the job.

  40. Mayor Amicone,
    I am a senior citizen who feels more in jeopardy by your refusal to cut staff at city hall and to elimate those cars and all the other perks. We cannot afford you. You are a classic example of do what I say but not as I do!

  41. The mayor is the one who is being irresponsible and reckless. Cut the cars, political appointees and you would save the money for the police department. Cut back on some of the construction overtime and you would save even more. I sincerly hope the council doesnt overide this veto. We need a control board in here to watch how this money is being spent.

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