Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., addressed a letter to federal authorities in which he asserts New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has blatantly sidestepped standard protocol to determine the adaptive reuse for the now vacant Muller Army Reserve Center in the Wakefield section of The Bronx abutting the southern border of the City of Yonkers. At issue is Diaz’s allegation that Bloomberg is promoting his own agenda by the creation of a 200-bed men’s homeless shelter at the center.
Based upon President Diaz’s characterization of disregard of public sentiment by Mayor Bloomberg, President Diaz asked the two agencies with purview over approving the Muller Center plan, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEM), to reject Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to use the facility for a men’s homeless shelter. President Diaz also asked the two agencies to "convene a meeting amongst the parties to determine how, if possible, a conforming submission could still be provided." If this doesn't happen, Diaz says, "I will have no choice but to pursue legal action."
Yonkers Mayor Philip Amicone sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg urging his administration to reconsider its "seriously flawed" shelter plan because of the negative impact it would have on Yonkers. The Muller Center is located approximately 82 yards south of The Bronx/ Yonkers border. “
“Astonishingly," Mayor Amicone writes, the mayor's plan "makes no mention of the proposed facility's possible effects on our City nor our residents. For this reason alone, the plan to locate a homeless shelter at the Muller facility is seriously flawed and should be reconsidered."
Notice of Mayor Bloomberg’s plans for a homeless shelter near The Bronx/ Yonkers border has been kept under wraps by Yonkers Mayor Amicone, by Yonkers City Councilman Dennis Shepherd of the 4th District, and Justin Tubiolo, just one of many prominent vocal members of The Hyatt Neighborhood Association.
When is Yonkers supposed to learn about this situation? After it’s a done deal?
Must Yonkers be kept ignorant of the prospect of a men’s homeless shelter only yards from one of our must lucrative business and residential districts by Mayor Amicone, Councilman Shepherd, and The Hyatt Neighborhood Association. One would have thought Mayor Amicone would have come to our defense, but no, he impotently takes a swing at Mayor Bloomberg and retreats from the scene, keeping Yonkers in the dark. Following orders from Mayor Amicone, Councilman Shepherd does likewise. The Hyatt Neighborhood Association has likewise revealed its impotence by saying nothing?
President Ruben Diaz, Jr. has shown himself the defender of Yonkers’ concerns better than Mayor Amicone.
Yonkers City Hall has chosen not to respond to our inquiry.