Legislation demanded to set the City of Yonkers on a “balanced” course to win the validation of New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s signature required almost two hours of hurry and wait protocol. The meeting that was called for 4:30 p.m. would not take place until approximately 7:15 p.m., Thursday night, June 23, 2011. At that propitious time, the Yonkers City Clerk read off the many “tweaks” demanded by the New York State Legislature. It took less than 10 minutes to read each clause and vote on same without a word of explanation, a congratulatory statement, a sigh of relief, or for anyone to pass gas, unless it was silent. None of the Yonkers City Councilmembers said anything. They held their backroom discussions while the audience laughed at one alleged fraud after another. It was hilarious. Then again, it was at the expense of Yonkersites. Things don’t seem to change much in Yonkers after all.
Little is known of what was passed and / or what will win approval. No back-up or corroborating numbers were revealed. This would seem conduct anathema to open and transparent governance except when one recognizes that last year’s budget was not made available to be scrutinized for at minimum 7 months after being adopted by NYS Comptroller DiNapoli. In fact, would it surprise anyone that the document had to be stolen so an esoteric few could glean what was codified?
No explanation was given; no explanation was offered; and no explanation was demanded from any of the Yonkers City Councilmembers present. Only Councilwoman Joan Gronowski, having advised of her absence over one week prior, was absent for the vote. Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick refused to hold off the Thursday night meeting until Friday morning at her request. One must infer Mr Lesnick incapable of managing to answer or get timely answers when asked by Ms Gronowski before a televised session. It doesn’t get sadder than this. Well, maybe it does.
It seems Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone, at the behest of Mr Lesnick, had allocated a slot for a Democrat City Clerk position, the very one vacated by ill health a few years ago by Barbara Flatley. It seems the Democrats, Lesnick, Patricia McDow, and Wilson Terrero, were in synch to offer the coveted position worth $92,000 per annum to the term-limited Yonkers City Council Majority Leader Patricia McDow. Ms McDow commandeered the theft of services by parking her unlicensed, unregistered BMW for 6 years at the Buena Vista Parking Lot. Inspector General Dan Schorr asserts she is to complete paying a fine over the 2011 calendar year. He never did divulge the fine. The fine amounted to $350. The process for her theft of services is precluded in the Yonkers City Charter by noting that no elected official is privy to more than any Yonkersite. Ms McDow is undaunted by rules and / or regulations. She is the pay to play girl. Payola is her trade. By the end of the meeting, Mr Lesnick asserted the line for Democrat City Clerk was expunged from the FY 2011-12 budget. In Yonkers, what one can expunge, may be returned later in another form. It is appalling to witness thieves at play; trying to outdistance public scrutiny, to squirm their will into a position for which they are not qualified and for which they will be handsomely paid. Once permitted to skirt public scrutiny, she will sit upon a legal mumbo jumbo to assert her right to the job. Should she gain employ by these deceptive means, shame on the voters for permitting their elected officials and the political party hacks to permit the cancer of deceit to continue to denigrate the City of Yonkers.
I can hear the cackling in the background: “If she can get away with it, good for her!”
Deception seems to have become Yonkers modus operandi under the likes of Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone, Mayor Amicone has won the silence and acquiescence of most Yonkers City Councilmembers who believe they are doing the right thing. How so? Do they know upon what they voted? If so, will they ever share their “knowledge” with the public, or will they continue to omit the facts. Will they divulge that 25 firefighters will be hired only to be let go come January 2012 when the then deficit ridden City of Yonkers finds itself again under water? City Hall has designed it into their plot. The Financial Control Board will make itself known in 2012. Many Yonkersites welcome the prospect. That is why so many are stealing as much as they can now. The game will be over soon. If Comptroller DiNapoli validates the FY2011-12 budget with an accompanying letter advising the issues he has with it, one may infer his office had underwritten the sham promoted by Mayor Amicone and his “yes” men.
The best part of the 25 firefighters being hired is that one of them is the future son-in-law of Yonkers Deputy Mayor William “Bill” Regan. It seems all Regan family tree has done well; Regan’s brother, Regan himself, Regan’s daughter, and now, the future son-in-law.
After 21 people were clandestinely hired by City Hall about two weeks ago, Mr Regan was asked by Ms Gronowski whether there was intention to hire more employees. Mr Regan said, “No!”
Another lie. When will it end?
Is this what Yonkersites wants of their deputy mayor? It seems that is all they ever got from Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone and his henchmen.
The underhanded games and tricks and deceptions and quackery and waste of taxpayer money and theft of services and the intrusion of politics into business and governance and the friends and family network shenanigans continue to undermine a city whose residents deserve more, much more.
One more sweet circumstance to put a smile on everyone’s face. Marty Peterson, one-time chauffeur for Mayor Amicone, after taking his civil service exam is now the City Hall Printer. Congratulations Marty. Thank Mayor Amicone and his staff for giving Mr Peterson the opportunity to take the Civil Service exam home to be filled out there. The venue may have been the impetus to bring his score to number 1. Yes folks, Marty Peterson is number 1 for being permitted to steal a position he pushed others out of contention for by his deceit. I hope everyone is laughing. Another concern Inspector General Dan Schorr is incapable of getting the facts. Oh, and please don’t involve the Ethics Board on this one Mr Schorr. They have a life for which your intrusion has become tiresome.
I have been told that I should be reveling in learning of these dysfunctions. I should be laughing. Why do I feel only pain? When will it subside?