The Hezitorial: Yonkers Mayor Amicone’s FY2011-2012 Executive Budget By Hezi Aris

eHezi Archives 12 Comments

EHezi_Hezitorial Amicone-Phil-postulatingstance Amicone-Phil-postulatingstance Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone’s FY2011-2011 Executive Budget proposal promotes a 4.81 percent tax increase. Even so, Mayor Amicone (extreme right) projects sales tax revenue despite the incessant delays by Forest City Ratner in completing the Ridge Hill development. Mayor Amicone will conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony of the cinema in May of this year at Ridge Hill. The balance of the property will come to life in October, while the anchor to Ridge Hill, Lord & Taylor’s, will open in 2012 asserts Mayor Amicone. 

The “balanced” budget has been formulated by dispensing 47 percent to  the municipal side and 53 percent to favor the Yonkers Board of Education. This formula, asserts Mayor Amicone, is fluid. It can change at any time prior to its deadline of June 1, 2011, the date designated by law by which the Yonkers City Council must accept or deny the mayor’s budget proposal. Mayor Amicone will advise the Yonkers city Council as new figures are gleaned.

700 hunded jobs are to be lost at the Yonkers Public School District. These are projections by YPS Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio (right). His budget has, as last year, not been officially submitted, as deduced by Councilmember Joan Gronowski, upon questioning Mr Pierorazio and then demanding it be forwarded for Yonkers City Council scrutiny.

Mayor Amicone has dug his heels into the ground; not another penny for eduction he assserts, this while concluding his open session at which he advised the Yonkers City Council of the budgetary issues, and proclaiming that the dire situation is all about “our children.”

The drama was there but Mayor Amicone’s delivery was catatonic. It was Mr Pierorazio who exhibited the drama with greater flair. Either way, those who would have to pay the increases, suffer the lack of planning over these 16 years in continued silence. 

The parents of students have said nothing. The unions that would suffer cuts in staff have said nothing; then again, Mayor Amicone will not speak any of them. 

Yonkersites love the drama more than they are concerned with the issues not being discussed in the budget. Yonkersites are silent about the $4 million in red light traffic camera fees they will likely pay to the tune of $4 million.  Firefighters are safe for about two years because of a federal grant. Police will have 23 new positions after the graduating class but rather than getting on the streets to the second most safe city of a like population as claimed by Mayor Amicone, they and Yonkersites alike will find our numbers, no longer able to be fudged, will pummet Yonkers to horrendous levels. This, because City Hall has not planned to do right by The People.

Yonkers Mayor Amicone admitted at the meeting that his greatest failure has been his inability to convince Albany that Yonkers was not getting its fair share of funding. His failure is his shame but it will be born on the backs of Yobnkersites, not by him.

At every turn in Mayor Amicone’s proposed budget, Yonkersites will have to dig deeper to “balance” Mayor Amicone’s budget. Development has failed Yonkers because Yonkers’ elected stewards were inept. The Amicone administration has soaked Albany for funds which were most often transformed for use other than for their intention. There is no ballpark in Chicken Island. There is no minor league ball team. They are bankrupt. Still the money has not been repaid. Not only regarding Chicken Island but on many more projects Yonkersites will not speak about.

Yonkers Tribune will not get caught up in this drama. Let those who must speak, speak. If like a parent who does not defend their own child, who will? Yonkersites must challenge the Amicone or remain complacent. Same for Mr Pierorazio; his praises are heard but he does not graduate even 50 percent of all students who enter the student population at the Yonkers Public School district. Pierorazio must open the Yonkers BoE books; he must present a formal budget proposal, among so many other issues and concerns. Like Mayor Amicone, Superintendent Pierorazio will not budge an iota.

If, as is in the past there is silence in Yonkers on these issues, when it is time to pay the piper with lost jobs, services, and quality of life concerns, we can look to the mirror to find the protagonists responsible for letting Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone and Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio off the hook.

Let’s agree to protect our favorite sons from blame or shame. We know they tried their best. Yonkersites must ponder if that has ever been good enough. The merry duo  are counting that good enough is good enough.

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eHeziThe Hezitorial: Yonkers Mayor Amicone’s FY2011-2012 Executive Budget By Hezi Aris

Comments 12

  1. The city was sued for the 670,000 “loan” to yonkers baseball (amiclown being ceo of a for profit co.) TWO different copys were available for this same meeting (both certified by city hall), one with Al Pirro the other without. Judge Pirro said nothing was wrong , even though her husband was all involved, as per city hall minutes of the meeting….

  2. Who was the superintendent when this unauthorized payment was made??? Connect the dots. Why wasn’t the BOE business office asked who authorized this check and who handed it over to the city?

  3. Ha! Ha! Ha!, this is what America has become corrupt. And those corporations with the rights of an individual who do this corruption aided and abetted by the political system.

    Local governments spent $7M on lobbying in 2010
    Patricia Lynch Associates, an Albany-based lobbyist, paid a $500,000 fine last year and admitted arranging campaign contributions, gifts and other favors to gain access to the state comptroller’s office for clients selling investments.
    Lynch’s lobbying firm was singled out by then-Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo as a major broker in Albany’s corrupt “pay to play” political culture.
    “Gifts, favors and campaign contributions are not a legitimate basis for government contracts or special treatment,” Cuomo said in December. “Lobbyists whose stock in trade is pay to play have no business appearing before government agencies that safeguard taxpayer dollars.”
    Yonkers still appears as a featured client on Lynch’s website and Facebook page. The city paid her $78,486 last year to lobby on state budget bills in the state senate and assembly.
    Lynch also represented Forest City Ratner, the developer of the controversial Ridge Hill project.
    Lynch was paid more than $400,000 by American Traffic Solutions to lobby for a bill allowing the red-light cameras in Yonkers and other cities.
    The legislation was introduced in the Assembly by Mike Spano, who went on to work for Lynch’s firm after leaving the Assembly.
    Lynch is also an equity partner in Empire Strategic Planning, a consulting firm founded by former Republican state Sen. Nick Spano, Mike Spano’s brother.

    State comptroller proposed LDC reforms after audits find questionable activity
    ALBANY – State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has proposed a series of reforms that would give his office direct audit authority over local development corporations and other private organizations controlled by one or more local governments. The reforms would limit the ability of local governments to circumvent the law by using the LDCs and other private organizations to finance the operations or capital assets of local government.
    The comptroller’s office looked at several LDCs including two in the Hudson Valley, in the Village of Nyack and City of Yonkers.
    He said the Nyack Fire District circumvented competitive bidding and voter approval rights. In Yonkers, he said the city circumvented local finance and general municipal law.
    In Nyack, the fire district commissioners created two LDCs for the acquisition of land and construction of a new firehouse, despite the fact that there is no authority for a fire district to create an LDC. “The establishment of the LDCs appeared to be part of an effort to enable the district to circumvent the voter-authorized project cost and the statutory requirements applicable to the construction of a new firehouse,” the comptroller’s office said. “As a result, the taxpayers in this Fire District could pay up to $9.9 million more than the amount approved by the voters for a firehouse that the district will not own.”
    In Yonkers, the city issued bonds for the acquisition of property to construct a new school district headquarters and public libraries, and transferred the property to the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency to complete the construction.
    The city then disbursed close to $670,000 to the IDA for costs outside the project’s contracted costs, even though the description on the invoices submitted to the city gave the appearance that the payment from bond funds was consistent with local finance law, which requires that bond proceeds only be used for the purpose for which they are issued.
    The comptroller’s office found the City School District then authorized a payment of the same amount to the IDA from city bond proceeds, in violation of the construction contract and without the necessary board authorization.
    When the IDA received the duplicate payment from the school district, the IDA loaned nearly the identical amount to a for-profit corporation organized by the IDA to develop a baseball stadium in the city. “The Yonkers IDA lacked authority under General Municipal Law both to establish the for-profit corporation and to lend the money,” the comptroller’s office said.

  6. Yankee Amicone went downtown
    A-riding on the taxpayers pony
    Blamed the state on Yonkers fate
    and called the state balloney.
    Yankee Amicone, keep it up
    Yankee Amicone dandy
    Mind the BS and the crap
    And continue lying handy.
    Amicone and Pierozzio went to Albany
    Along with Lesnick phoney
    And there they saw the men and boys
    and did his dog and pony.
    Yankee Amicone, keep it up
    Yankee Amicone dandy
    Mind the potholes and the trash
    And with the DPW be handy
    There was Captain Amicone
    Upon a slapping stallion (SUV)
    A-giving orders to the second floor
    I guess the cost was a millions.
    Yankee Amicone, keep it up
    Yankee Yonkers dandy
    Never Mind the taxes and the budget
    Just soak the homeowners handy.

  7. Lucas: you’re point is taken,
    i don’t think Phil could be indicted
    Phil is playing the best game he can in a corrupt system.
    He is letting everyone underneath him play the game.
    One seriously shitty Mayor.
    Phil: why isn’t McDow in Jail?

  8. I have to assume that Amicone has a green screen studio in city hall somewhere… Why? you ask?
    Because he has these ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings in front of fake businesses and developments and they always seem to disappear directly after the ribbon is cut and/or the ground is broken. And all the same clowns are standing next to him while it happens. Pinto, Regan, McDow, Sansone… hilarious!
    My theory is that Amicone is working on a genius film with James Cameron in which everyone grows a beard, lies to each with dead pan faces and they speaks a totally different language than everyone else in HIS city… OH WAIT – NO, that is real life in Yonkers! Not a sci-fi Oscar Winning Dark thriller.(or comedy).
    Amicone is a sick puppy. When is he bing indicted anyway.

  9. This amicone isa phony. While the whole country are cuttingbudgets this clown is the only republican around increasing taxes. Why have the republican tree mousekateers been zilent on this? Afraid of retribution are we? Come on councilmembers open your Big republican Mouths?
    this is another joke

  10. It is the job of our superintendent and BOE trustees to advocate for our students and yes teachers. They should be demanding that the CITY properly find our schools. Pierorazio has no spine. He is an Amicone puppet and to hell with the educational system. I would expect that at least he would appear on News 12 to make his case to the city. He should present his budget to the city council so they can scrutinize it and he can show his worth. There is no transparency at the BOE. All we hear is the spinning of how well YPS is doing when reality with facts proves we are a failing school district. I don’t blame the YFT for not giving up one cent. Amicone continues to bankroll his political cronnies and city hall loses nothing. That is why Amicone gave Pierorazio 3 contract renewals. Bernie does what Phil wants. In any other school district poor performance would have forced the termination of the superintendent. Only in Yonkers do we praise incompetence.

  11. Wonderful budget. How about getting rid of the friends and family club, and having the unions accept a 5% reduction in pay, certainly that would be enough to keep most of the jobs.

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