She was plucked out of obscurity years ago by Yonkers economic guru Edward Sheeran. It was Ed’s wife who suggested she might be a loyal worker. She did as she was told. She would soon take a fancy to Deputy Mayor Phil Amicone when she was instructed to engage in a City Hall-wide effort to elect Phil Amicone to the office of mayor. And she did, particularly in earning the support of her church’s fellow congregants. Her effort would afford Phil Amicone the margin of victory he hadn’t even considered getting. With gratitude, Phil Amicone was known to have promised her the plumb position of Chief of Staff. The promise was not consummated until about two years later. Kathy Spring Spencer would hold onto her position of Chief of Staff beyond her service to her husband, the then Mayor John Spencer. In a sense, Kathy Spring Spencer was a bridge between the Spencer administration, under which Phil Amicone served as deputy mayor, and then to Phil Amicone as mayor to the consternation of the Chief of Staff in waiting. In time, the simmering disdain for Mayor Amicone’s inability to deliver on his promise to Lisa Mrijaj brought the two to verbal blows. Kathy Spring Spencer was dismissed; Lisa Mrijaj would accede to Chief of Staff. Her qualifications then and even now remained non –existent, at best, they should be designated as nil.
Alas, Mrijaj served in more ways than one would want to recount, much less imagine, for approximately six years, as the Chief of the Staff. Now, Mayor Phil Amicone has decided to reward Mirjaj the position of executive director to the Yonkers Parking Authority (YPA) at the sum of $155,000 annually and embellished with a long-term contractual agreement. Public notice of a vacant position with the Yonkers Parking Authority for the position of executive director is not known to have been made. Last time an opening was evident, there were over 25 applicants for that same position. [Read the February 5, 2009 article: Yonkers Parking Authority Employment Opportunity Denied By Hezi Aris].
In fact, the Yonkers Tribune broke that story years ago. Two of the applicants that readily come to mind were John Spencer, the former mayor, and John Spano, the present head of Mayor-Elect Mike Spano’s Transition Team. No other applicants are understood to have been considered for this Civil Service position, nor is Mrijaj known to have taken such a test.
A week has not passed since Mayor Amicone asked the Yonkers City Council to indemnify him of a debt judged by a jury of his peers and by Federal Judge Cathy Seibel to be born by him personally because his conduct and directives of others were personally executed and not within the realm and purview of the Office of Mayor of Yonkers. Despite the ruling, the Yonkers City Council indemnified Mayor Amicone of his personal burden in a vote of 5 for indemnification and 2 against indemnification.
Now we learn that Mayor Amicone has allegedly appointed Lisa Mrijaj to executive director of the Yonkers Parking Authority without giving public notice, and without having her take a Civil Service exam.
Mayor Amicone has not learned to confine himself to the parameters defined for him and to which he publicly asserted he would uphold with the left hand on the Bible and the right hand held in a stance attesting to his submission to the law set in the Yonkers City Charter, New York State and U.S. Constitutions.
It is these very acts, claimed to be legal by some, yet disparaged by those who detest the non-common-sense aspect of laws that would permit the transgression of laws beyond their original intent.
On the one hand one is sure to hear that Ms Mrijaj’s contract cannot be broken. Why should a contract be permitted to stand when the circumstances upon which it is signed is consummated by the lack of compliance of every step leading up to the testimony of the contract itself and thus launders the principles it was to abide, dismissing the protocols required to be followed to reach the basis for such a contract.
When Yonkers Mayor-elect accedes to the Office of Mayor of Yonkers upon being sworn into office on January 1, 2012, Mayor Mike Spano must begin the processs of clawing back and making impotent this contract. It is neither legal nor in compliance with the intent of the law.
This alleged contrivance by Mayor Phil Amicone’s administration must not stand. This is the second act by this lame-duck Mayor Phil Amicone that spits on Yonkers Mayor-elect Spano by robbing the city coffers of first $393,388.00 in the indemnification process, and now affords a contract that requires no skill set of the recipient for a $155,000.00 annual contract. The majority of those who voted bequeathed upon Mayor-elect Spano a coffer in better standing, and there is also no basis for encumbering the City of Yonkers in a contract with someone who was permitted to skirt the protocols required and is simply not qualified by any measure.