Recessed Special City Council Meeting to Reconvene Saturday, July 10th at 2:00 PM

eHezi Archives 24 Comments

Yonkers City HallYONKERS, NY, July 10, 2010 — Yonkers City Clerk Joan Deierlein read the agenda before the City Council members within the august chamber that was standing room only on Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm. Having recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and hearing a friendly but stern admonition by Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick that decorum would be demanded of all who chose to speak, a discordant rumbling was heard. Not from the engaged public, but rather from Yonkers City Council Minority Leader John Murtagh (5th District) who railed at his name being appended to a resolution that spoke to raising the income tax surcharge from 10 percent to 15 percent. Mr Murtagh said he believed he could speak for Councilman John Larkin (6th District) and Councilman Dennis Shepherd (4th District) in demanding to know what right anyone had in placing their names onto an official document that the public might infer they were proponents to such a concept. Mr Murtagh having learned to effectively raise the volume and pitch of his voice to irritating heights when he is peeved kept pushing for answers.

Mr Lesnick explained that upon receiving a “Message of Necessity” from Yonkers Mayor Phil amicone, he had taken it upon himself to quickly append the agenda document to include the 10 percent to 15 percent income tax surcharge to afford Mayor Amicone broader options by which to continue his negotiations with the unions. Mr Lesnick further stressed that he was able to reach Yonkers City Council Majority Leader Patricia McDow (1st District), Councilman Wilson Terrero (2nd District), and Joan Gronowski (3rd District) who concurred in his decision to place the resolution on the agenda. By so doing, Mr Lesnick was able to have the resolution incorporated onto the Special City Council Meeting by circumventing an 8 days waiting period. In so moving, Mr Lesnick and his three colleagues afforded Mayor Amicone the latitude he requested. 

Mr Murtagh noted that Mr Lesnick was afraid to answer his question; and he was correct on that fact. Mr Lesnick was reticent in admitting his conduct and that of his colleagues, all Democrats, afforded the Republican Mayor an option that the Republicans on the City Council (Larkin, Murtagh, and Shepherd) feigning support of Mayor Amicone their 5 percent across the board cutbacks proposal, were in fact out of step with the administration.

Let’s repeat this for clarity. The Republicans who donned the mantle of supporting the mayor have distanced themselves from the mayor by demanding their respective names be stricken from supporting the resolution requested by Mayor Amicone in a Message of Necessity, forcing Mayor Amicone to grovel for support from the so-called “opposition”. It seems the signals emanating from the second floor have won displeasure by the Republicans on the Yonkers City Council of Mayor Amicone while finding accommodation with the Democrats. 

Mr Murtagh’s outbursts evidently pressed Ms. Gronowski’s buttons. When she gained recognition from the dais, she said, “I don’t go in and out of meetings like my colleague Mr Murtagh; instead, I have attended every meeting from the day I was elected. I have never been arrogant as you have been every step of the way.”

Ms Gronowski then won a tumultuous and spontaneous outburst of applause from the citizenry in attendance.

Mr Murtagh’s ploy had failed. It took Ms Gronowski to slap him back into his seat when she said, “You have an ‘in’ with the administration, and I don’t, but your pandering and arrogance doesn’t work.”

Ms Gronowski’s expression emboldened Mr Lesnick who had City Council Democratc Counsel Christian DiPalermo explain the rationale behind the resolution.

Murtagh’s inquiry was whether the Democrats who approved the inclusion of the resolution were indeed supportive of increasing the income tax surcharge. 

At long last Mr Lesnick advised that shepherding the resolution onto the agenda does not infer support of an increase but that it affords the mayor greater latitude in his negotiations with various unions.

When Mr Lesnick accepted the Republican “amigos” their request to delete their names from supporting the Mayor’s Message of Necessity request, a member of the audience shouted out, “ Why don’t you just step down!”

The Meeting of the Whole, in which the public make their perspective heard, found Joe Raza being first to the podium. He suggested that it was time for businesses to pay their fair share. He mentioned that Costo, Home Depot, Stew Leonard’s, the Cross County Shopping Mall, among others, were not doing so.

Lt. Thomas Phelan, president of the Captain’s, Lieutenants, Sergeants association (C.L.S.A.) noted that his members and those of the Yonkers Police Benevolent Association (PBA)had together cut back or shut down over $8 million of pertinent police departments to lighten the financial burden for the city. On top of that, over $1 million in givebacks.

Det. Keith Olson, president of the Yonkers PBA, next to speak noted that Ms Gronowski was the lone councilmember who discerned where cuts could be made. He went on to note that there was a lack of trust by the police of the mayor and the city council. He pointed out that there was a game in Yonkers in which no one would accept responsibility. The mayor blamed the city council, the city council blamed the mayor. It would go on and on. Det. Olson said that he mayor and every councilmember would from now and into the future “own” the troubles sown by the Mayor Amicone’s FY2010-2011 Budget.

Tery Ngai spoke of the hardship caused by the closing of Fire station 8.

Acid-tongued bloggers advise that Mayor Amicone, spitting feathers because Ms Gronowski’s ethical stance was shattering his spin, upon Mr Murtagh’s demand that a Fire house other than the one in his district in Armour Villa be closed, had Mayor Amicone chose Fire Station 8. Mayor Amicone believed Station 8  was in Ms Gronowski’s district when in reality in is situated in Ms. McDow’s district. Mayor Amicone’s wrath had missed its intended victim.

Ms Gronowski judged the budget proposal to still be infected with the same ills she was elected to expunge and which she has publicly fought since her election victory. The list was endless. She mentioned the car fleet, the free parking for some and not others, the lack of collection of fees , the cell phones, the free gas, the lack of payment of 15 percent in one’s health insurance coverage, and so much more.

Mr Terrero demanded the reinstitution of twice weekly garbage and refuse collections, bringing police staffing to safe levels for the police and for the city, dissolving the waterfront development personnel positions, (goog bye Mr. Pinto, and putting on the shelf projects that are not financially possible at this time, until they become doable in the future.

Ms McDow said, “I cannot support a budget that reduces services. I will vote, ‘No!’"

Mr Larkin said he was in search of “A way to do this that is not exclusively on the backs of the taxpayers.”

Acid-tongued bloggers have learned that Councilman Shepherd will depart this Thursday to vacation in climes unknown.

Coincidentally, Mr Murtagh will attempt to win the hearts and minds of Yonkersites by proposing a local law be adopted that would cap overti
me to $20,000 on Thursday. Mr. Murtagh knows such a law is illegal. It has been struck down as such in state court. The pandering may garner devotees to Mr Murtagh’s spin. The Republican mayoral hopeful has lost the 5 percent across the board pay cut argument and will next week spin an illegal maneuver be adopted  by the Yonkers City Council. Perhaps the telling of this ploy will cause Mr Murtagh to reconsider Yonkersites figuring out he is playing them for fools and will therefore not bite. Yonkersites get it. When will Mr. Murtagh?

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eHeziRecessed Special City Council Meeting to Reconvene Saturday, July 10th at 2:00 PM

Comments 24

  1. Yes we should. Then we wouldn’t be shaken down for an unnecessary second day of garbage pick up. They don’t have it here, then why do we have it here? Oh! it’s the so called mob, which are the unions and their bully male goons.

  2. It was not a diatribe. It is a very well thought out piece. I do not see the name of Joan Gronowski anywhere is the post. Perhaps you might want to take a reading comprehension course.

  3. I am no union apologist but for Murtagh to compare union overtime to the salaries of the second floor parasites is a stretch, even for him.

  4. Wow – I saw that amanda (leaf blower girl) for first time the other day. if phil is going to hire peeople to do nothing. at leaset don’t hire people like her that look like a lil fat cabbage patch kid. yuck hit the gym will ya

  5. That was quite a meeting I just watched. Pierazio didn’t know that Patterson cut the budget?
    Doesn’t he read?
    Paterson vetoed over 6000 line items last week.
    The Assembly and Senate left Albany and they don’t have the votes to override the vetoes.
    So vote down the Yonkers budget. That was the 1 good thing that just happened.
    Keep voting it down…the city can go into default…and we’ll get a Control Board.

  6. Can we finally sell whats left of this city to the city of NY for one dollar. As the sixth borough we will get professional management and the sevices we pay for. With professional management the friends and family club will be looking for new jobs.

  7. You left out the nonentity on the council..Terrible Terrero. He really said that he doesn’t want to raise taxes but he will not stand for service cuts. He has said Nothing about Union givebacks (as he is a pawn for Jenkins) so Wilson, where are we going to find the money?
    Genius.. I don’y ythink so.
    Useless addition to a rudderless ship

  8. Murtagh has a “tell” that I’ve picked up on to denote if he’s lying. Watch very closely when he’s speaking, if his lips are moving he’s lying. It’s true. Just watch, you’ll see.

  9. Murtagh would be a lot more believable if he spoke out about the abuse of power on the 2nd. flr. and the parasitic “friends & family club” Of course it is to late. He has not opened his big opinionated mouth throughout his tenure.
    “In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.”

  10. Opt out has said it all..and said it quite accurately.
    If anyone has any question about where we are in Yonkers and how we got there, re-read his post.

  11. the actions of this council and mayor are disgraceful.
    while the city sits on the edge of disaster they pander and lie and continue to do nothing but waste time.
    To “Which way is the Wind Blowing” Lesnick:
    the idea you would give this additional tax ANY latitude of support to Amicone DOES infer you support it. if you didn’t you would not have included it.
    If you want Latitude: demand BOE and IDA books are a contingent part of any final budget.
    Your game is old and worn
    your silence and inability to articulate concern or solutions– as someone who purportedly claims to represent the district hardest hit by this mess– is no longer excused by this poster as stupidity. in this posters opinion you are a significant participant in untold damage.
    and so does your parking space.
    stop blaming the unions with your historical inaction which brought us here.
    sit down, shut up and do your job.
    To the new boys on the bench:
    the honeymoon is long over.
    poster at 9:37 is spot on with one omission: it is this and past council who have supported the mayor and the reason we are in this mess.
    in 2008 the ENTIRE WORLD understood the need to cut back.
    what did Yonkers do?
    They wasted everyone’s time– and ten’s of millions of dollars– supporting untenable development projects.
    skirted responsibility by passing one CYA smoke screen approval after another.
    And spent like drunken sailors.
    It’s a lie to blame the mess Yonkers is in on the economy.
    It is the Mayor and Councils irresponsible actions in good and bad times that are to blame.
    and the patronage club continues at taxpayer expense…
    a class action lawsuit is long overdue.

  12. The last fire truck and the last police car will be put into storage, garbage will line the streets, but NASCAR Marty, FACEBOOK Lopez, Amanda, LEAF BLOWER GIRL and all the rest of the circus clowns will still be employed.

  13. Hey “pass a budget already”
    Gget your facts straight…the city council always add the names of the full council on proposed legislation, and Murtagh has never questioned it before. When a piece passes, only those names of the supporters are on the piece. Murtagh pandering as usual, as only he can do. Morever, not likely that gronowski was reading from any script. How was she to know that Murtagh would have yet another temper tantrum..she spoke off the cuff and spoke well. I do hope he may take a break from his candy-ass tactics,

  14. Duh! “Who knew we would be where we are today.” Any one with a half a brain…that’s who. This crises did not come out of the blue. In Sept. 2008 the economy started to go into a free fall. It was obvious that the whole country was heading for difficult times. What did this mayor do…absolutely nothing that’s what. Even now, he continues to feed his “Friends & Family Club.” Joan is the only one taking her fiduciary duties seriously. She has been looking out for the taxpayers from day one. Unlike Mr.Murtagh, she has a track record of looking out for the folks. She does not grandstand. When he goes into his long self righteous rants, notice what is missing. Never once has he brought up the outrageous looting of the city treasury to keep this gang of parasites employed. We all know there have been some abuses among the unions, but many of the abuses (perks) have been given with the blessings of the political class. Please stop spreading this lie that the cars, cellphones, friends and family are a drop in the bucket because we all know the bucket is dripping over.

  15. Who really cares that Mr Shepherd is going on vacation because all he really is a yes man and flunkie for Amicone-nothing more and nothing less.

  16. The person who operates this website hates Murtagh so much that what he writes is skewed. It was not too long ago that he vented his vitriol at “Lesnick the Liar.” Now that seems forgotten and its aimed at Murtagh. Who will it be next week?
    Obviously what Lesnick did was pure politics. The Mayor had no choice but to issue the Letter of Necessity given the situation we are in. It gives the Council a new way to deal with the shortfall. No where does it state the amount of the tax increase. The increase from 10% to 50% is Lesnick’s idea. Perhaps it is deliberately shocking to get people talking, I have no idea. Thats fine, let the Council discuss it.
    But, that is where the “good part” ends and the politics begins. You will note above that Lesnick “convneiently” only spoke to the liberal democratic portion of the Council. They supposedly agreed to co sponsor. However, he did not speak to the Republicans, and no matter how you spin it, its wrong to add a Councilman’s name as co sponsor of a resolution without their consent. Period. It is not politics, its just wrong. Lesnick would have still had the abiltiy to hold a robust discussion about the proposed tax increase without inflaming it more by putting co sponsors on without their consent. Its pure politics. Its another example of his weak spineless leadership.
    So Hezi, Murtagh had every right to complain.
    Joans comments while making good “press” had nothing to do with the discussion at hand (as usual) becuase she speaks from a script of talking points. For someone who is supposedly so ‘ethical and fair,’ I am surprised she could not see the problem with illegal co-sponsoring. But she wanted applause to inflate her skinny ego.
    In terms of your comment about Dennis going on vacation next week: who cares? This is the second time you have pulled this. I realize that you may not be able to go away, buy do not get on their backs about vacations they probably paid for months ago. Who knew we would be where we are today? Councilmembers get part time salaries, if they spent good money on a family trip and do not go, who reimburses them? No one. We would not be here today if not for all the BS with the unions. If everyone had simply sat down, opened the contracts and made reasoanble changes, or agreed to the 5% cut from the Mayor on down, we would have ben done weeks ago. But that is not how Yonkers works, is it? We have to do it the hard way. And we ALL pay the price.

  17. all is well in the land of Amicone and Lesnick said…
    so what will it be: bust the unions open or screw the taxpayers.
    Gee i don’t know
    maybe you can cut the cars
    cut the cellphones
    cut the staff at CH
    stop the giveaways
    shutter the BID
    cut downtown development–there is none.
    lock up the fuel pumps
    work an 8 hour day
    and oh yeah—open the BOE Books
    do yourselves a favor and don’t try running for office again you simple morons.
    REPOSTED BY EDITOR. Previous posting had a disfunctioning module. Kindly, Hezi

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