Albany Looks Askance at Endorsing Yonkers’ Budget Request By HEZI ARIS

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EHezi_Hezitorial YONKERS, NY — The Transitional Financing Authority (TFA) proposal brought before the Yonkers City Council by Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone derailed the focus demanded of the Yonkers City Council to scrutinize Mayor Amicone’s proposed FY 2011-2012 budget.  The TFA was not fully explained. Instead, City Hall promoted the TFA as the manna from heaven to fill a $42 million hole from which it distances itself. Mayor Amicone abdicates all responsibility in bringing the City of Yonkers (CoY) to the brink of fiscal collapse by finding surrogates to do his bidding. 



The first to accept the baton of fiscal failure was Yonkers Public School Superintendent who took on the burden of the $42 million deficit. Mr Pierorazio claimed the Yonkers Board of Education (YBoE) had expended all due diligence over its books and was incapable of any further cutbacks other than to fire over 700 personnel. The dire circumstances are repetitive of previous calamitous times in which The Albany Delegation, consisting of New York State Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Jeff Klein, and New York State Assemblymen Thomas Abinanti, J. Gary Pretlow, and Mike Spano, were known to be Santa’s little helpers. It was their heavy lifting that filled the gap over many years which Mayor Amicone had off and on reluctantly stipulated that CoY was not receiving its fair share of remuneration from Albany.


Promoting the half-hearted effort postulated by Mayor Amicone are Yonkers City Council Minority Leader John Murtagh (District 5), Councilmen John Larkin (District 6), and Dennis Shepherd (District 4). Their collective effort has waned by the 30 plus year harangue by Yonkers of Albany to which CoY had sued New York State yet recoiled after spending between $2 to $3 million in Board of Education money that has yet to be returned to the YBoE coffers.


Aiding and abetting the failed effort to meet the needs of the YBoE, its student population, and its personnel, is Yonkers City Council Preident Chuck Lesnick who continues his grandstanding antics by reaching out, to the exclusion of everyone else in CoY, to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, and the Albany Delegation for fiscal remedy. By going it alone, Mr Lesnick will have eviscerated his own campaign effort for mayor of Yonkers should his “tough” act not pan out. Lesnick’s ace in the hole is that should his campaign effort lose, he will continue to preside as Yonkers City Council President for another 2 years. Should Mr Lesnick succeed, he will be relegated one of Santa’s elves.


The shame of it all is that no matter how hard everyone tries to fill the gap left by the inept fiscal plans, or lack thereof, submitted  by Mayor Amicone, the probability of getting the funds from Albany are slim. Every year, at least for the past 15 plus years under Deputy Mayor Amicone and subsequently as Mayor of Yonkers, the “one-shot” respites that should have warned CoY to get its fiscal house in order soon became an entitlement for which the Amicone Administration never acknowledged the efforts of others upon CoY’s behalf.


Even in receipt of fiscal remedy Mayor Amicone was never satisfied. He always wanted more. He would demonize all who attempted to help Yonkers. Mayor Amicone pointed his accusatory finger at everyone. To this day Mayor Amicone will not admit his failed tenure in office. Mayor Amicone promised to serve Yonkersites but instead, he deflects responsibility from himself upon others. In Yonkers, no one is permitted to even go to the bathroom without an OK from Phil. The buck stopped at his feet. Mayor Amicone kicked it down to everyone else.


Under Mayor Amicone’s watch no fiscal concern has been remedied. None.


Phil Amicone couldn’t care less. He is outa here. His family and friends are taken care of. Yes, taken care of on the backs of the Yonkers taxpayer he swore to protect.


While this writer does not posses a crystal ball, and the days of clairvoyance have dwindled with age, the likelihood of getting more money from Albany based on TFA legislation,  a wage cap, the YBoE not opening its books as demanded by the Yonkers City Council, the lack of figures for a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) not delineated, or defined, the projections of sales tax revenues from projects yet to come online,  and the funds lost from years ago, do not bode well for Albany to look with empathy upon a city in need and proven to be fiscally delinquent and irresponsible under the aegis of Mayor Amicone.


As the Yonkers City Council awaits word from Albany as to its fate, Yonkersites should recognize that Mayor Amicone has robbed Yonkers its ability to survive.

 continue its review of Mayor Amicone’s Proposed FY 2011-2012 Budget.


For Yonkersites, the present backdrop is one of loquacious visions that none have bothered to stay awake long enough to think out and bring them to fruition.


It is time for Mayor Amicone to take a bow for his endless failures in office and the ineptitude he has bequeathed Yonkers for a generation to come.

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eHeziAlbany Looks Askance at Endorsing Yonkers’ Budget Request By HEZI ARIS

Comments 2

  1. I hope the FTA “IS” dead. I look at this loan and it’s resulting debt service as an additional burden and “pay cut” for the taxpayers in Yonkers. We cannot continue to dig deeper and deeper while our home values tank.
    It is certainly time to live within your means and the BOE is no exception.
    We are only required to provide a basic education, no PreK or A.P. classes and no sports programs. The Wall Street Journal stated last week that other communities in other states have instituted fees for the extras so as not to burden the homeowner/taxpayer and so should we. Times are difficult for everyone.
    54% of the entire Yonkers budget is for the Board of Education. They will have to cut back like the rest of us. Maybe they don’t have to discard all their computers each year to buy new. MAYBE THEY SHOULD OPEN THE BOOKS, so we can see how efficiently OUR money is spent.
    And shame on Pat Puleo for saying, if teachers salaries are frozen they would leave Yonkers. I thought it was “all about the children”. I guess not, because dedicated teachers would stay and weather the storm with the community.

  2. The TFA is dead – even without the Wage Freeze provisions.
    Had the City proposed the TFA without the Wage Freeze language, there may have been a chance to get the TFA and the $20,000,000.
    Now there will be no TFA. There will be no Wage Freeze. There will be no $20,000,000.
    Good work Amicone, Murtagh and Lesnick…you guys really know how to chuck things up.

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