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."