Yonkers City Council Minority Leader and 2011 Republican mayoral candidate John Murtagh in literature dated July 17, 2011, “applauded the recent NYS Supreme Court Ruling that stipulated the Yonkers Inspector General had the right to audit the books and records of the Teacher's Welfare Fund.” So far so good. Murtagh’s perspective becomes “untrue” when it is stated, “Councilman Murtagh has taken the lead on the Council in demanding accountability from the Board of Education and from municipal unions.” [Editor’s Note: If Murtagh “did take a lead,” why did he drop the ball by voting for Mayor Amicone’s Proposed FY 2010-2011 Budget when as he writes, “The so-called Welfare Fund is a discretionary fundmandated by the Teacher's Union contract. The fund costs Yonkers taxpayers millions of dollars annually but operates without any supervision or oversight from City Hall.”] [Another Editor’s Note: That being the case, why has Murtagh not introduced legislation or demand correction prior to the approval of the proposed budget?] Murtagh continues, “Despite being funded by the taxpayers the taxpayers were not permitted to know how the money was being spent.” [Editor’s Note: Duh, the facts were known for months. What did Murtagh do about it? Nothing, zero, nada. Is that the rationale for the historical re-writing now?].
Murtagh continues his historical rewrite by claiming it was he who encouraged Yonkers Inspector General Dan Schorr to audit “the books of the Fund.” Were Murtagh so proud to encourage the spineless I.G. Schorr, why did he not make his encouragement public? Even if Murtagh’s encouraging words were uttered, what does it say of Murtagh if his skills of encouragement fall on deaf ears. Murtagh must take some responsibility for being ineffectual in his abilities to cajole I.G. Schorr to do the right thing.
Perhaps Murtagh’s inability to guide I.G. Schorr is indicative of Murtagh pandering to the Republican Party rather than for the benefit of what is proper, right, and beneficial for Yonkersites overall.
When the union known as the Yonkers Federation of Teachers “sued to prevent an audit claiming the taxpayers had no right to review how the taxpayer's money was being used,” did Murtagh have his legal eagle wings clipped and then his beak silenced by Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone? What kept Murtagh silent all this time? Why did Murtagh not convince I.G. Schorr to immediately challenge the YFT convincingly by legal remedy? Was that Murtagh’s deficiency showing or Schorr’s, or both? How long this process have taken. It is now over a year in being discussed and still no books handed over to the Inspector General for audit. Is that because Mayor Amicone doesn’t want the truth exposed about the books under his watch?
"In the case of the Welfare Fund we are talking about millions of taxpayer dollars that go to the school system each year but which never reach the classrooms and never benefit the children," Murtagh stated. "These millions are nothing but a personal benefit for the adults who run the system and add nothing to the students' education. That in itself makes this a questionable use of taxpayer money. Then, when union leaders try to hide how that money is being spent, the red flags really go up."[Editor’s Note: Murtagh is correct, the flags are raised. Mine are still up, why are his now not even flying half-mast? Pure political impotence! Perhaps it is now even too late for the little blue pill.]
"In a system where hundreds are being laid off, vital programs are being cut and nearly 1/3 of the high school students do not graduate in four years, it is shameful that the union leadership and the Trustee's of the welfare fund were even fighting disclosure of how taxpayer money is being spent." [Editor’s Note: Valid issues that should have been expressed within a proper timeframe, that is, before the budget was passed. Instead, Murtagh chose to tow Mayor Amicone’s game plan to mire the public in hocus pocus, and mindless deceptive discussion of non starter gimmicks to con Albany into accepting another deficit ridden budget that will fail before the year is out. Murtagh could have voted no on the budget and served Yonkersites by awaiting the audit being made public. He chose to kiss *ass instead. Will anyone ever see the fund books? This seems more a game than an interest in righting wrongs. Murtagh’s interest is half-hearted. Were it not, all of Yonkers would have known about it by now!]
Murtagh concluded, "I applaud the Court for having the wisdom to see through this charade and I applaud our Inspector General for insisting on his right to protect the taxpayer' money. The good, hardworking teachers who really do want to make a difference, the parents who want the best for their kids and the students themselves deserve nothing less." [Editor’s Note: In reality, Murtagh should be applauding former Inspector General Phil Zisman who initiated the challenge. I.G. Schorr succeeded Zisman. The court ruled in favor of Zisman’s challenge. All Schorr had to do was receive the books. Schorr personally advised me in July of 2010 that he would receive the books in August of 2010. It is now mid July 2011 and he still has not gotten the books in question. The reality is that Schorr is a scam; so is Mayor Phil Amicone a scam artist. They are both waiting for time to run out on the Amicone’s administration’s clock.[Editor’s Note: Yonkersites demand and need resolutions and solutions to issues that plague our ability to move forward. More platitudes offered inept department heads are a waste of time and garner no accolades for those applauded inappropriately and are of little value for those who make believe they are worthy of notice for their ineptitude.]
Yonkersites want the truth not another fairy tale.