A New Concept for Governance Herein
‘Proud Mary’ “was rollin’ on a river” sings Tina Turner. ‘Simply the Best’ Tina was on her way to New Orleans. Imagine her singing about Yonkers instead. It would have started the same way, “nice and easy”. The recent vote of approval of Mayor Amicone’s FY2010-2011 Budget culminated in the way Yonkers likes it best, “nice and rough”.
Yonkersites know politics is a blood sport in the second most hilly city in the nation. From the ivory tower that is Yonkers City Hall blood flowed in spurts the last month, so much so, one imagines it reddened the fast flowing Hudson River like the Nile when it became emblazoned by the same hue in the days of Moses. Moses was so called because he was delivered to his adoptive mother by the currents of the Nile. Yonkers has no such deliverers. God knows we are still in search of one.
Another populace would boil with anger and demand to exact retribution for being shunned, ostracized, dismissed and toyed with.Other people would consider seeking legal remedy from the learned wisdom metered by the courts. That would be “nice and easy”. Yonkersites like it “nice and rough”.
Yonkersites would deny they were outwitted by the non-political Mayor Phil Amicone and recoil from letting anyone know he manhandled the union leadership. He asked them to do their best to meet him half way, to save jobs and restore services. Mayor Amicone never imagined any of the unions would step up to the plate, but they did. He didn’t know what they thought because he wouldn’t talk to them, much less negotiate with the various unions. Mayor Amicone “hoped" the Albany Delegation would somehow get more than anyone could ever imagine out of Albany. They didn’t tell him they were plotting a scam of their own. They sent Yonkers Public School Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio to a Special Meeting of the Yonkers City Council as a faux deliverer who bore incendiary tidings. When he advised the august body that Albany had withdrawn $36 million in aid designated for Yonkers students for free bus transportation, and full day pre-Kindergarten, Yonkersites were collectively moved from “nice and easy,” to “nice and rough”.
Without credible news sources to keep Yonkersites informed, the Saturday telling by Mr Pierorazio took flight. It was a short takeoff, clipped by a non-committal press release that didn’t mention the now vetoed funds. By Monday, the Albany Delegation took credit for righting Governor David Paterson’s “error”. One would curtsie, while the others bowed. It had been done before. Perhaps Yonkersites are jaded. We’ve been there and done that. We didn’t want “nice and easy”, we were craving “nice and rough”. This deflective scenario was not “rough" enough.
Thankfully Mayor Amicone obliged. While the hackneyed theatrics were played by the Albany Delegation, Mayor Amicone welcomed the disparate unions to present their “solution” to assist COY in finding its fiscal compass.
The Yonkers Police Department suffered the loss of beaucoup men and demotions, $ 8 million in cuts that eviscerated department proficiency into oblivion, and give backs of over $1 million. The Firefighters who also suffered the loss of men and many demotions were asked to come up with cost savings or cuts of $2.5 million, they came up with $2.7 million to return the fire houses presently closed to full function, the assignment of trucks and ladders to their original respective firehouses, among other cost measures and protocol to work within tighter budgets. The Sanitation workers who are part of the Department of Public Works also offered givebacks to Mayor Amicone. The challenge Mayor Amicone gave each was met by the respective department but was rejected and shunned as inadequate by Mayor Amicone. No two ways about it he reneged on his commitment to them. He “effed” them. They are not a happy lot. This was not the “rough” anyone was looking for.
One of the mistakes the unions made was to put trust in Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick whose only role is as it is defined by the term “president”. It is not “president” of the United States. It is not “president” of a major corporation. His job is to nurture consensus among his 6 colleagues who represent the six disparate districts among the soon to be recognized third largest city in New York State. Yet Mr Lesnick, another faux “deliverer”, feigned power and influence as if he were the holder of another more esoteric office. Perhaps he already believes he is the Mayor of the City of Yonkers. Until he is, he is simply a lowly figure in an inconsequential position, whose feigning clout has shattered the anticipation of remedy by his allegedly cerebral prowess, but is nothing more than a self-deluded characterization that he believes has earned him the stature of an interlocutor or mediator. It does not.
His failure to intercede on behalf of the unions is a role he should not have undertaken because that is not his role, and because he is not respected by those who would be his opposite number. Mayor Amicone loathes Mr Lesnick. Mr Lesnick has yet to figure that out. But Mr Lesnick personal issue is his own. His inability to deliver for the men that believed his unfounded bravado is Mr Lesnick’s “illness”, and is a poor judge of character by those who permitted him to be a go between.
Neither Mayor Amicone nor the City Council membership can be trusted to reassess the issues that have divided COY. They do not have the interest, the intellect, or stamina to tackle it once and for all.
Mr Lesnick’s inability to guide the Yonkers City Council to resolution over 100 days later than should have been expected by Albany’s delay, in affect gave the City Council time for greater study and by inference should have been the catalyst for a better outcome. Instead, Mr Lesnick became the Emperor with no clothes, and Mayor Amicone hid in his corner office on the second floor in fear of meeting the union’s representatives.. As elected officials, neither have completed the task they willingly stood before the electorate to perform to their best. Both fail miserably their sworn oaths of duty. Neither are affected by their failure. It is Yonkers that suffers their ineptitude and rudderless demeanor.
So what is Yonkers recourse? Certainly not the “nice and easy” route. We want “nice and rough”.
We need to shake things up. We need to take care of the “Family and Friends Network” above all else.They all need a job. We need to create a new government structure. We have much to do. Now would be a most propitious time to do just that.
No matter the pain, disgust, and vitriole, Yonkersites will find a comfortably complacent safe harbor believing the best effort will be to focus on the 2012 election process rather than the trials and
tribulations of the present. They will be emboldened this concept by a harangue of spin and more spin.
In preparation for 2012, acid tongued bloggers have formulated a credible and new form of governance, created about a triumvirate of exceptional people who would share power in intervals of 4 months apiece over a two-year cycle, permitting only one re-election. The most proficient for Yonkers’s success are the “the three amigos”, better known to Yonkersites as Bruce Ratner, Louis Cappelli, and Peter Kelly. Each has been able to amass preeminent corporate structures, incorporating an OPM philosophy. OPM is the antithesis of Robin Hood’s conduct of robbing the rich to benefit the poor. Specifically for Yonkers, Robin Hood’s philosophy will revert to robbing the poor to benefit the well to do. It seems an appropriate concept. It may not be “nice", but it will be “rough". Each of “the three amigos” will exact a return for economic development projects that will dwarf all those planned until now. Future projects will exact sizable sums from every Yonkersite before permitting a corporation, small, medium, or large, to use the funds Yonkersites will give them their corporations as payment for their coming to Yonkers. Yonkersites’ investment in them will give Yonkersites great pride.in offerings the corporations our funds. Our children will sing songs in their name. We will serve them without concern for ourselves, happy in knowing that our lot is to pay them homage for looking in our direction. Green is a powerful color.
Phil Amicone removed from elected office by term limits, one of the most important “Family and Friends Network” member will be hired by Louis Cappelli, but only after Joe Apicella intercedes on behalf of the former Mayor Amicone so he could learn to draw mundane engineering concepts for a future baseball stadium or some other Cappelli vision. Rumor has it that Mr Cappelli is considering an extremely large structure that would embellish the attributes of the former Mayor Amicone diminutive legacy. Despite little interest, Bruce Ratner and Peter Kelly are now understood to be close to agreeing to seeing the project to fruition, but only if more funds are found. The suggestion that Mr Amicone solicit for additional grant money has caught Mr Amicone at a loss. He called on his cousin Jim, but he does not know what to do.
It was Bruce Ratner who formulated the concept of engaging the brusque demeanor exemplified by William Regan for real estate agent for The Monarch, the soon to be completed housing project situated in Ratner’s Ridge Hill. Peter Kelly will add salt and pepper to spice up Yonkers prospects. They will be the rave and rage among Yonkersites as long as the fork over more funds..
Mistress Lisa Mirjaj will don a dirndl dress to satisfy her ‘meet and greet’ responsibilities when welcoming the true “Friends and Family Network" members when they come to dine at Xaviar’s X2O restaurant.
Chuck Lesnick, envious of the green will be relegated purview over the Bezcak Center and the Science Barge to the delight of none, but sacrifices must be met. Mr Lesnick will be hard pressed to find grant allocations to warrant his employment. Everyone please pray for him. Tin cups are also available for a nominal fee for those interested in salvaging Mr Lesnick’s precarious future prospects.
Close by, the phantom John Murtagh will be ensconced running the ferry service that departed from the Yonkers Pier. His first task is to find the “yellow" vessels.
Dennis Shepherd will become the ambassador responsible to straddle between East and West.
John Larkin will come to sit on both Business Improvement District. He will continue the policy of not paying for DPW services performed and paid for to the city’s coffers.
Patricia McDow will be most challenged by her multitasking responsibilities. She will preside over Midnight Basketball, community gardens, and the Yonkers Parking Authority so she can keep an eye on her Bimmer.
Wilson Terrero will become the President of the Yonkers Board of Education Trustees. His tenure will foster educational excellence and and savings from the consolidation of services.
Bernard Pierorazio will be sent a broad to better familiarize himself with Chinese education methodolgy. While abroad, Yonkers students will have learned to thrive and graduate at such lofty heights to make all Yonkersites proud of their accomplishments.
Joan Gronowski will become known as the capo di tutti capo. She will preside over a matriarchal heirarchy that will require all to seek her approval. Nothing will happen without her benevolence and OK because she is the wise. She will preside over all that is good for Yonkers.
And so it came to be in 2012.