Theatrics Orchestrated to Deflect Yonkersites’ Attention from Financial Concerns By Hezi Aris

eHezi Archives 15 Comments

Yonkers_CitySeal YONKERS, NY — A meeting of the Budget Committee was called for Thursday night for 10:30 a.m. this morning. Upon my late arrival to the Yonkers City Council Chambers where the meeting was to take place, I found the audience pews filled to capacity by an entourage of mostly Hispanic women and some young children expressing their heartfelt concerns that the budget, should it presently stand with a stated budget deficit of $43 million would rob the only hope they had for the future of their children. Each eloquently spoke in philosophical, pragmatic, regional, and rational concepts to express the needs of their children with regard to getting an eduction. Most spoke in Spanish. Their ideas translated into English by a translator. The parents explained they were citizens and had little to bequeath their children except for the advancement only education can give them. They stressed that the future of their children is the future of the city. The wondered why their children, like baby birds, needed to spread their wings, not to have them clipped. The priority must be education rather that the physical structures of development that would in future years disintegrate while their children’s education, were it available to them would endure. Education must be the priority of the education budget they collectively stressed.

It seems the largely Hispanic audience was called to demonstrate at City Hall. They marched and were accommodated at the Yonkers City Hall Chambers and afforded expression of thought before Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick, Councilman Wilson Terrero (District 2), and Joan Gronowski (District 3).  After being advised that Yonkers Public School Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio was awaiting to speak, the audience soon completed  their speaking at the lectern. When Mr Pierorazio entered the august chamber he said, "I am in awe of our parents and how wonderful they are. It proves that language does not divide our city!”

The reality is that notice of the parents’ demonstration at 9:00 am and their continuing entry to the Yonkers City Council was divulged only to Cable News 12 Westchester and the Spanish press. The Spanish press did not attend but Councilman Terrero advised he would keep the Spanish press informed. 

The Hispanic community, as eloquent as they are will not be heard by the local American press because they do not advise all media, local or otherwise, to their concerns. They are kept silent by their lack of bilingual skills and continue to bitch amongst themselves. They are playing the same game, except on different sides of the ghetto as others within Yonkers. They have been manipulated to be silent for many years and were today told to demonstrate their concerns. The dialogue to prioritize education among ALL Yonkersites has not taken place. People of every diversity have been silent in Yonkers while the going was good. Now there is little, if anything to offer. Perhaps their collective expression is too late. Where have they been over the last decade of my coverage of the city? Why were they silent? Why are they standing before the Yonkers City Council? Why is the demonstration not before Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone?

It was Phil Amicone who had presented proposed budgets before the Yonkers City Council for 8 years. He has demanded and received almost unanimous consent of his proposals by the ever changing Yonkers City Council representatives. He has brought the City of Yonkers (Coy) to her knees over his fiscal ineptitude to the silence of almost every corner. It seems the deals were always more enticing than righting the wrongs. There is little wiggle room today. The Transitional Financing Authority (TFA) is a spin-up designed to maintain CoY shackled for a minimum of 5 years in financing a $43 million hole with a $20 million fix. The $23 million shortfall is supposed to be gotten from union concessions yet their is no discussion among the 3 unions and City Hall. The budget is supposed to be sent for approval process to Albany by June 1, 2011. If the date is missed, CoY will run out of funds because it cannot levy taxes upon the citizenry. That day or week has yet to be divulged.

When Superintendent Pirorazio presented a quick overview before President Lesnick and Councilman Terrrero, he was followed by the Yonkers City Council’s auditor Nicholas DeSantis. Mr DeSantis was recapitulating the figures used by the Yonkers Board of Education in reducing what was once an $87 million deficit to the present $43 million. As he was speaking, notice was afforded President Lesnick to advise him that Mayor Amicone’s office had cut off recording and simultaneous transmission of the briefing on Channel 78.  This took place at approximately 11:55 a.m. The briefing was closed by 12:15 p.m. 

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eHeziTheatrics Orchestrated to Deflect Yonkersites’ Attention from Financial Concerns By Hezi Aris

Comments 15

  1. You have kids in the Yonkers schools-then you pay the extra tax burden-many of the parent’s that spoke at the budget hearings were all about themselves and screw everybody else.

  2. ENOUGH WITH THE MORE TAXES FOR EDUCATION ALREADY! This financial scheme that the council is ready to vote on is nothing more than a tax increase and a one- shot to make everyone feel good while sticking it to the taxpayer who will have to pay the bond back with interest. AND, next year it will be the same performance all over with more money bonded to feel good again and feed our out of control habit. Councilmember beware of what you are about to do!
    Generations went without pre-k and full day kindergarten in the past. These are nothing but babysitting programs and it’s been proven that younguns’ shouldn’t be thrust into school at an early age but should be with their parents/guardians in order to grow emotionally before being put in a classroom setting. The hogwash that 3 and 4 year-olds do better if they go to school is just that – hogwash.
    Lastly, some parents have said at recent rallies and public hearings that they don’t mind paying more in taxes for education. Well fine. Let them do it. Propose a tax program where if you have a child in public school you get a surcharge on your property tax – if you’re not a property owner you get a additional surcharge added to your existing income tax surcharge. Councilmembers propose that and see if all those who spoke out at the rallies agree to it… Just leave me the hell alone. I’ve had enough. It’s not about the kids, it’s about the teachers’ salaries and over spending!

  3. Hezi: No one who showed up atthe rally today reads this blog or the Westchester Guardian. That is why they did not notify you. They may not have even notified Ernie Garcia and he speaks spanish even though he only writes in English in the Journal News. News 12 they can see on TV. Get over yourself. You are not that omportant to those who came out. The real focus of your story should be they they walked from school 16 which they would have to do with no school busses and that the Mayor pulled the plug on the council.

  4. The Mayor, Fleming, Lisa and their fascist regime pulled the plug on channel 78 because they do not tolerate dissent. They may not have a First Amendment where Lisa is from but they do in our country. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  5. I’m Hispanic just like these people however I pay a lot of money in property taxes and I pulled my children out of public school because Yonkers public schools are terrible. I say all this to say that I’m tire of paying taxes to provide for others I wonder how many of the people that were at City Hall actually pay any kind of taxes and how many are simply getting a free ride. I’m pissed that my taxes are going up 4% the City Council needs to grow a pair and vote down any budget with a tax increase.

  6. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
    Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land
    Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted
    Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill
    Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy
    Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God
    Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God
    Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
    Seems that John Murtagh has forgotten Matthew and Luke.

  7. Did the women say if they were homeowners, and whether they care if their real estate taxes go up?
    More affluent towns in Westchester do not have pre K at all, nor do they have 5 days a week Kindergarten. This is not an entitlement.

  8. I think that Dennis shepherd had been there and would have completed the quorum, but mysteriously disppeared. I guess he got his marching orders, with the effect that Mr. Lesnick was then left holding the bag with only a three-member committe.. Dirty pool

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