Mayor Amicone Vetoes Overtime Law Citing Legal Flaws

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Amicone_Phil-postulating w hand Mayor Pledges to Work with City Council on Alternate Legislation

YONKERS, NY – June 30, 2011 —  Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone today vetoed the Overtime Reduction Law sent to him earlier this month by the City Council, saying it would have been indefensible in court against impending legal challenges from the city's unions.

The mayor praised the Council for its "laudable" attempt to address the issue of overtime spending, particularly as it relates to the practice of pension padding — uniformed personnel who increase their state pensions by working excessive overtime in their final year before retirement. 

"If I was given any indication from our legal experts that this law would have been enforceable and could stand up to the legal challenges we know are coming, then I would have signed it into law. But I have been advised that there is no way this law will stand up in court because it violates several statutes in New York State Law. To sign this law into effect would only put Yonkers taxpayers in the untenable position of having to pay for its legal defense, knowing full well it would eventually be struck down. It is more productive and prudent to veto it and work with the City Council on a new law that will be legally enforceable," Mayor Amicone said.

The law would have capped the amount of overtime any one person could earn in a year at $20,000

We have done a pretty good job at reducing overtime spending, although there's always more we can do. But the issue of pension padding continues to be a problem, not only in Yonkers but all over the state. The City Council is right to try and address this issue. Unfortunately the law itself was flawed," Amicone said. "But I look forward to working with the Council on a solution that we know will hold up."

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eHeziMayor Amicone Vetoes Overtime Law Citing Legal Flaws

Comments 52

  1. I guess the facts you stated about the Putnam Sheriff were facts too,? Oh right they weren’t. Oh well edelman can you put your spin on what was decided in the courts? I guess opinions aren’t facts.

  2. “Again you speak as if because you say it, it is fact.”
    what kind of statement is that…where were you
    educated..when anyone gives an opinon of course they
    believe it is fact otherwise they wouldn’t venture
    the opinion…go back to school!

  3. “little” man doesn’t make your argument stronger
    you can’t seem to make any argument at all in fact
    I worked with cops for 7 years..I taught the police
    on the criminal law…I have nothing but respect for
    the force..in fact I have defended you and your
    collegues for years…but taking advantage of a contract provision to double your pensions is obscene
    how can you defend it…how does a cop making 85,000
    retire on double his salary? what about the 300,000
    a year retiree recently in the news…
    here is just one article for you to read..
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/business/economy/21pension.html?pagewanted=all
    I have plenty more ..the whole world knows what has
    been going on..you want to break the pension system

  4. Again you speak as if because you say it, it is fact. And again I am saying you are wrong. The people who are retiring get the bulk of the overtime? Impossible you condescending little man. And please tell us who that was making $85,000 a year has a $150,000 pension. You lie to get people to hate cops. But a little man like will call quicker than anyone if you ever get threatened. You are wrong little man.

  5. Sam….
    I don’t doubt that most people would want your deal. I wouldn’t becasue I never wnated to be a cop or fireman or teacher.
    And my problem isn’t really with an individual who gets the deal. The rules allowed it…you didn’t steal anything.
    But I do have a major problem with the rules, with the politicians who made the rules, and with anyone who defends the rules in this economy.
    And Edelman is right. I for one did not know about the pension rules until about 2 years ago. I think most people didn’t know…becasue we are not in office and have lives to lead.
    But we know now. And it is wrong….and I think you know it’s wrong. So, why defend the practice?

  6. no sam I wouldn’t be first in line..I don’t like
    working regular hours so overtime would be out of
    the question..but the point is not to tempt those
    who can take advantage of a good thing at taxpayers
    expense…the point is that the practice has got
    to stop…tough is not public policy…and these
    deals are void even though they are contractual
    as against public policy..this is not private industry
    where you place a bet and if you loose too bad…
    this is a sham practice that was a payoff by politicians for political support out of the sight
    of those who had to pay for it….your analogy
    wreaks of unionism…at its very worst…but don’t
    worry sam…social security and medicare are next
    I suppose you will argue that “its your money”
    but guess what..structural changes will take place

  7. You would be the first in line for
    this pension deal if you could,be
    honest with yourself now. I mean
    let’s face it, there isn’t one person
    on this site who wouldn’t want to
    be part of this if they could. Remember
    we are taxpayers too. If the politicians
    dropped the ball years back when these
    deals were struck, tough, a deal is a deal.
    I played by their rules when I EARNED my
    money. Again I am a taxpayer too, I am
    entitled to my money and I won’t give back
    a cent of it!

  8. no one complained sam..because they didn’t know
    the deals that were made…these deals with the unions
    facilitated retirements on 6 fiugres..if you have
    a math brain you would understand that the deals
    allowd the public employees to scam the system by
    inflating their pensions based on their overtime
    in the last year of work.if you owned a a busines
    which you clearly do not you would never allow that
    to happen..the fact that it may be desireable doesn’t
    mean its responsible..you frankly sound like a unionist
    who is a communist..take what you can when you can

  9. That’s your opinion and that is fine,
    I have no problem with you not accepting
    the big payouts in pension money, it is
    understandable. But my point was when
    the economy was good no one, whether
    an exec. or regular taxpayer, ever complained
    about police pensions and the system has been
    around forever.Now the private sector is hurting
    and everyone wants to change the pension system.
    And by the way name me one person who wouldn’t
    work like we work to retire with 6 figures? If everyone
    could do it they would. Would you do it? I say yes you would.

  10. Sam…
    I am definitely not one of those CEOs. But what i am is a taxpayer who simply doesn’t understand why this is allowed to exist.
    I have absolutely no problem with a cop or fireman or teacher having a pension. They earned it. But to have police and fire retire in teh late 40s or early 50s on as much money as they had as a salary doesn’t work for me and i don’t think it works for most taxpayers.
    So please don’t characterize everyone who is against today’s pension system as disrespectful to cops or firemen or teachers.
    But you CAN include me in the club who thinks the system is broken and the abuses are rampant.

  11. hey sam..no one begrudges the “cops” on the corner
    their pensions…what no one knew at the time
    these deals were made was that the pensions would
    be double the salaries..so its not CEO’s out of
    jobs who are complaining ..its the average everyday
    taxpayer who realizes he’s been taken for a ride..
    and not to the Hamptons

  12. What does the mayor have to say about Deputy Mayor Regan’s brother’s pension?
    Not a word……
    and that is Yonkers in a nut shell.
    A big scam on the backs of the taxpayers for the family and friends club.
    If this mayor had any sense of leadership (or intellect) he would stand up and say how wrong it is.
    in fact if he had any brains he would call for an investigation himself.
    but he won’t
    and he doesn’t.

  13. What’s funny is that some years back when
    the economy was booming all these execs
    and stockbrokers were making 7 figures and
    getting 6 figure Christmas bonus’, on there way
    to their summer homes in the Hamptons would
    laugh and tell their driver ” look at these schmuck
    cops on the corner, just civil servants”.Pensions were
    on nobody’s mind.Fast forward , today’s economy.
    These same execs are unemployed, foreclosed,picking up
    cans off the side of the road. Now these same “schmuck”
    cops on the corner are no longer being laughed at. Now all
    these execs are now crying foul. Now they all want a do-over
    for the pension system, because they are not getting theirs’.
    So for that I say who ever does not like the pension system
    tough,go EFF yourselves!!! in plain english!!!

  14. you are another one of these liquid dynamite wonders when the shit hits the fan you are the first go the other way. A mental midget could pass the civil service exams given in Yonkers.

  15. I never stated “only guys in their last year get overtime” what I said was that no one who makes 85,000
    a year should be retiring on 150,000 a year because
    of overtime in the last three years..and the only way
    that happens is if Overtime is given to them INTENTIONALLY for the sole purpose of enhancing their
    pensions..I don’t know why you keep attempting to parse
    words…of course others get it..but the bulk of it
    goes to those about to retire to use as pension enhancements…so don’t pee on my leg and tell me its
    raining..party is over for you and anyone else who
    thinks taxpayers will pay for you to retire on 130,140
    thousand and more..you would have to have 4 million
    saved to earn that at todays interest rates…and
    that’s not going to happen anymore..

  16. I guess everything reported on news 12 and the local rag is fact just like edelman, if you believe that that than you have no clue as well as no credibility. When you read their articles they can’t even get dates right so when they declare that someone earned x amount of dollars and they don’t explain that a significant portion of that is not pensionable that is not responsible reporting just like edelman when he states only guys in their last year get overtime. That is ridiculous.

  17. Hey Joe….
    Get real. Are you really trying to say that there is no OT scam in Yonkers? If that’s what you are trying to say, you have no credibility.
    There have been numerous news reports…and you them….of the people who have benefited from the system.
    you may not like Edelman….but he’s right on this one.

  18. Joe blow has quite a problem…he knows what the
    deal has been that’s why he has to attack edelman
    personally..calling edelman an “angry little man”
    is an indication of blow’s state of mind…which
    is little in itself..using the words prick and weasel
    is of course another indication that he can’t present
    his argument without lashing out at edelman…but
    the fact remains that overtime has been abused to
    a fare thee well…and blow’s refusal to recognize
    that speaks for itself

  19. the excuses may by blow are just that an attempt
    to rationalize an abusive practice by trying to
    claim how much ot is worked…again the issue is not
    overtime…the issue is pension inflation…you still don’t get it…but the rest of the world does…you
    should not be able to retire on twice your highest
    regular salary under any circumstances for any reason

  20. reply to anon said…You are missing the point, it not a question of working OT…That taxpayers (Like me) are fed up with,what we are fed up with..”THAT THE OT IS BEING INCLUDED INTO ONES PENSION”.
    I’m for anybody making OT to help support their family, but their Pension’s should be base on ..”BASE SALARIES…..

  21. reply to anon,
    OT isn’t just offered up bc it is part of someone’s FAS. The ot is there bc most workers cover shifts. It is not like they work 8 to 4 and decide to stay a few hours to pad their pensions. Someone calls out sick or is on vacation that shift needs to be covered by someone. Most are key-to-key operations. The city and most gov agencies decided it is cheaper to pay OT than pay more people. That is true. It is better to have one person make 100K than two make 50K. Two pensions, two health-benefits, sick pay, vacation, etc… The lure of most of these jobs are you can make six figures with OT. You really think there are a lot of people who would do these jobs if all they made was their base salaries?

  22. edelman, you are such an asshole. Again you speak as if everything you say is gospel. Do you relly believe only guys who are retiring are getting overtime? Do the math you stupid prick. News flash weaselman; I know guys who have been cops and firemen for more that twenty years and they have worked overtime each and every year, and some of have worked quite a bit. On any job probably about 5% percent retire each year, and when you state they are working all of the overtime you just prove how stupid you are, angry little man.

  23. yonkers is probably technically bankrupt now…
    if you take its long term pension obligations into
    account on one side of the ledge and the estimated
    revenues over that same period of time on the other
    ie yonkers and most other municipalities that have
    these deals with the unions in place cannot possibly
    pay what they have committed to…the prospective
    fix of eliminating overtime in pension calculations
    will not solve the problem..so there has to be another
    solution or ultimately a control board will be appointed and it will reconfigure the existing contracts and seek a modification of existing pensions and in fact other states are starting to do that already

  24. Amen…I know Gov Cuomo wants to enact Pension Reform (Pension Tier VI) but unfortunately this is for New Hires of Civil Service. if this Bill is pass,”Excluding overtime from final average salary” should be enacted starting the first fiscal year after this bill is signed. otherwise, we will not see any improvements to the abuse of OT in Pension for at lease 20 Years. We have a candidate for mayor of Yonkers who is in Albany now, I hope he pushes for this Amendment, before the bill is pass. But I do not have that trust in him.if elected mayor, He will give the city of Yonkers, away to the PD & FD..and after the end of this term..Yonkers will be Bankrupt

  25. the argument that OT is a necessity may be correct
    or it may not be…its a red herring either way
    no one is calling for the abolition of overtime
    if needed.that is a totally administrative issue
    within the departments based on staffing and other
    internal issues…the pension issue is separate..
    overtime should not be used to enhance a pension because the result is that whether or not overtime
    is needed is totally made irrelevant by the fact
    that those receiving overtime can use it in their
    pension formula…the very fact that pension are
    influenced by the amount of overtime worked totally
    compromises the decision on whether or not overtime
    is necesary in the first place..get rid of the
    use of OT to double retirement pensions and watch
    overtime fade away

  26. to judge for yourself: your comment is off topic on this story. this is the yonkers tribune, this is not divorce court.
    Fan of the Yonkers Tribune

  27. There are many union haters on here who have no clue how civil service works. We didn’t set up the system but it is the system we work for so blaming us is actualy naive and silly. We took the test and yuo could have too but you didn’t and I’m pretty sure the reason is that most of you look down at us for the work we do but yet you have no idea how much you depend on us. If this city had no PD FD or sanitation it would be unlivable. The uneducated masses on here can keep talking all the trash you want because you have no idea what you are talking about.
    Thank you to all of those Yonkers residents who have supported us and understand the complexity of the situation and who realize that this isn’t our fault.

  28. There is nothing wrong with working OT, I have put many hours in on my job…some around the clock for a ew days. But OT should NOT be included into one pension. you guy can amke all the OT you want to help support a family. but Pensions should be base on Base Salary

  29. If you just base it on salary then the city will continually understaff so as not to pay benefits. If overtime is included, it causes the city to properly staff their departments. This city is so mismanaged that they do not see that and presto, high pensions because of understaffing. Can you imagine how understaffed we would bee if they did not include OT. This asshole mayor would have 200 cops and 100 firemen and require us to work 50 hours OT each week. We have been asking for proper staffing for years. Why just this past month the council and the mayor were shown that hiring back the 10 officers in the FD would actually save the city $400,000 in OT expenses. Did they do it, no let OT go through the roof and then blame the guys for actually working it. We have morons running this city.

  30. There is nothing wrong with working overtime, if it is handled responsibly. Why was the YPD policy on overtime ignored on many occassions? Cops cant just work overtime because they want to work, there has to be a need to justify it. Why are we paying the police commissioner and his high paid deputy chiefs and captains so much money to monitor overtime, and to distribute it according to department procedure? People are not doing the jobs they were hired to do and spmeone should be held accountable for all this excessive overtime!

  31. for you to state that I am against pensions is
    a typically stupid comment..you are entitled
    to a pension based on a salary not based on
    a scam..very simple…and practically everyone now
    knows it…you can follow me and my clients around
    all you want…spend your pension money to do it
    have a ball….but just because you have a contract
    doesnt mean that your pension is not against public
    policy…even if you got 100% of your highest years
    salary no one would be complaining but you guys
    scammed the system so you could retire as the
    equivalent of multi millionaires complements of
    the taxpayers..well the taxpayers have had enough
    of the back room deals and the so called “contracts”
    claw back is in order

  32. UNION HATERS MAKE ME LAUGH, WHAT HAPPENED YOU WERE TO STUPID TO PASS A CIVIL SERVICE EXAM. KEEP ON HATING. SCUMBAGS…. WHY DONT WE GO AFTER WELFARE. DONT CALL THE F.D. WHEN YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE.

  33. is that pesky ambulance chaser still complaining about pensions? he has a problem with someone working20,30,40 years and collecting a pension afterwards which was part of their contract when they took the job, but he has no problem suing municipalities, businesses, people etc for millions on top of millions of dollars for rediculous frivilous slip and fall injuries.
    maybe some of these retired cops who are getting paid to stay home, should grab a video camera and follow around some of these slip and fall scam artists clients. They claim to be disabled, and he has made millions off of their claims, let’s see how many of them are fakers. If a great percentage of them ARE fakers, maybe the law firm who represented them is in on the scam. Are they many of them seeing the same doctors, who play golf and socialize with these lawyers? If so, I’m sure this is some type of fraud

  34. OK, let’s say that this idiot Mayor is actually right this time. And he may be the way the law is written.
    THEN HIS JOB IS TO PROVIDE VERBIAGE THAT IS LEGAL!!
    Get it Mayor..that’s your job. Write the proper legislation and let’s get the proper laws in place to protect the taxpayer.
    God, i can’t wait until this guy is gone.

  35. this conversation is not unique to yonkers, in fact today a minnesota court I believed ruled
    that a law which modified cost of living pension benefits was not unconstitutional ..the unions keep releying on the argument that their pensions are a function of a legal contract that cannot be abrogated..however there is another way to look at those pensions which are the result of
    enhanced overtime calculations and exceed not
    only the pension they would have recieved based on their highest 3 base years but for some are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars whihc is a multiplier of their
    highest base salary years…I believe that that an argument should be made that if these
    pensions were the result of a calculated effort
    on the part of the supervisors to make
    sure that overtime went only to those about to
    retire for the sole purpose of making their
    pensions as large as possible that these actions amount to civil fraud and are
    void as against public policy and should be
    challenged in court as such by the
    comptroller of the ag…no public employee whose highest salary is 85,000 should
    ever be permitted to retire on 150,000 and more
    and that’s for starters

  36. OK smart Educated UNION WORKER !!! let hear your side,,,justify your OT and Big Pensions…and while you at it..justify getting your BIG Pension and “MOVING OUT OF NY” once you Rob us of your pension

  37. you sir are an uneducated, misinformed fool. Nothing that you said is correct and it seems that you get your talking points from news 12 and the journal news. Please come back when you have some thoughts and ideas of your own. Thanks pal

  38. We don’t need to hire one more person, until we can figure out what the others who we pay almost $800 million a year actually do for this money.

  39. Overtime. We are handing out overtime in this economy. This City is nuts. Insanity everywhere one looks in City Hall.

  40. THIS AMACLOWN NEEDS TO BE IMPEACHED. IS THIS WHAT THEY USE THE LAW OFFICES FOR? ALL OF THESE UNIONS WORK OF RUS, YES US THE TAXPAYER AND IT’S TIME THAT ALL OF THEIR DUBIOUS WORK PRACTICES ARE INVESTIGATED FROM OVERTIME, TO SICK LEAVE TO PADDING, DRIVING CITY CARS AND TRUCKS HOME.
    THEY CAN SUE ALL THEY WANT, THERE IS NO MONEY AND AMICONE NEGOTIATED THESE CONTRACTS AND ONCE THEY ARE OVER THEY ARE OVER. THE NEXT ISACLOWN WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS AND REALLY TAKE ON THE WASTE AND ABUSE THAT IS EVERYWHERE IN THE SHITTY OF HILLS.
    FOR ALL THOSE UNION GOONS, IT IS COMING TO AN END, FASTER THAN ANY OF YOU CAN IMAGINE. WHEN THE DOLLAR COLLAPSES, DUE TO THE DEFICIT THIS PENSIONS AFTER 20 YEARS WILL BE A THING OF THE PAST. WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE, GREECE? A PENSION SHOULD ONLY BE ALLOWED WHEN ONE REACHES RETIREMENT AGE. REALITY COMING TO A STATE, CITY, TOWN NEAR YOU SOON.

  41. vindictive little minded people
    Wow
    I am NO defender of City Haul but boy pal you got one big set to say that. You union people are raping the city with your contracts and your arrogance and you have the nerve to say that. What was your savings? One million? Two million? big deal.
    Lets face facts. Spencer and his ilk wrote these contracts with the Police and Fire to curry votes at a time when there was enough money to be able to get away with it. Fine. It worked. unfortunately today it is a little different.
    Look around you. I realize you are a rich guy with a six figure income, paid health, retirement, sick days, vacation, short turnaround, no meals and lord knows what else. its a gravy train.
    The average Yonkers resident has none of that. he has an unemployment check, a foreclosure, a salary that is a third less than two years ago, no vacation no retirement fund and so on.
    Yet you rich bastards keep screaming about money money money. its OUR MONEY. I could care less that Spencer gave away the store and its a contract. you selfish people have to give it up. No fat pensions, no raises, you have to suffer like everyone else in Yonkers. You are no better than we are. You are entitled to respect for what you do, you are entitled to a fair wage and pension and good health insurance for the dangerous job that you do. You are NOT entitled to earn $300K a year, restrictive work rules and an insane pension.
    You need to remember that you are NO BETTER than anyone else un Yonkers, I do not care how big your gun is.
    Get over yourselves.

  42. If you want to stop overtime, then hire enough FD and PD. If the city does not want to do that then it is their problem to solve. The city is managed by vindictive little minded people that don’t care about doing the right thing for the people of Yonkers. We proposed cost saving measures, but they chose not to implement them. So thanks for the overtime that they created, but now want to bitch about.

  43. God save us…you are right,,instead vote for Spano,and he’ll just give the combination to the city bank to the police & fire department. so they all can retire with hefty pensions.
    and after his first term..Yonkers will be bankrupt.,,,,I say stop overtime as of now…

  44. Looks like Murtagh and Co. are only good at drafting and approving illegal budgets and laws for the city. Real bunch of winners. God help us all if the people of this city are stupid enough to vote for Murtagh in the primary

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