Mayor-Elect Spano Announces Transition Team

eHezi Archives 58 Comments

Spano_MikeOutdoorYONKERS, NY — Yonkers Mayor-elect Mike Spano  announced the names of his transition team on Friday, November 18, 2011. Spano said the members of the team will meet with City Hall staff during the next several weeks to recommend organizational and policy initiatives so that Spano can hit the ground running when he is sworn in on January 1st.

This will be a bipartisan team with both government and community expertise,” said Spano, “We want to include a variety of viewpoints to get the best possible result.”

Spano said the Transition Team will consist of an executive committee, plus working groups in the areas of Public Safety, Government Operations, Finance, Economic Development, and Community Relations. There will also be an Education group that will work with the School District and Board of Education, in keeping with Spano’s campaign pledge to provide additional emphasis on improving the city’s schools.

“I wish to thank the commitment of Mayor Amicone, Council President Lesnick, and Schools Superintendent Pierorazio in particular for their offers of assistance and support as we move forward with a smooth and productive transition to benefit the people of Yonkers,” said Spano.

The Executive Committee will be chaired by John Spano, who managed Mike Spano’s campaign and who is a former State Commissioner of General Services. Symra Brandon, a former Council member and current Chair of the Yonkers Democratic Committee will serve as Vice-Chair. Other members are Pauline Galvin, an attorney with a practice in Yonkers and former Chair of the Yonkers Democratic Party; John Jacono, a former member of the Yonkers City Council and currently Chairman of the Yonkers Republican Committee who is also  a retired school principal and retired administrator of the New York Psychiatric Institute; Wilson Terrero, Currently a member of the Yonkers Council representing District Two  and a member of the City’s business community, who was also instrumental in forming the Yonkers Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and has been active in the local retail and real estate business community; Jim Cavanaugh, former Eastchester Supervisor, former President of the Westchester Municipal Officials Association, and former President of the Battery Park City Authority under Governors Pataki, Spitzer and Paterson, and who is  currently associated with Empire Strategic Planning. The Executive Committee will work with and coordinate the other working groups on the team.

Following are members who have been asked to serve on the Transition Team:

Public Safety:

Jim Brady

Rich Carlson

Ira Goldman

Hope Hollinsworth

Barry McGoey

Keith Olson

Tom Phelan

Leonard G. Spano


Stefanie Capasso

Jim Ciliberti

Jim LaPerche

Carl Petrillo

Dennis Robertson

Pete Samaha

TJ Sharkey

Government Operations:

David Alpert

Mike Curti

Joan Gronowski

John Khader

Shelley Mayer

Lou Picani

Dominick Savarese

Wayne Soifer

Geraldine Tummolo

Jim Veneruso

Economic Development:

Alfonso Alvarez

Kevin Cacace

Al Ciufutelli

Bob Flower

Peter Grotto

Deborah Rothberg

Community Relations:

Dr. Jim Bostic

Terri Lucadamo

Warren Murphy

Steve Sansone

Bob Stauf

Ann Vizzini

Larry Wilson


Mark Baiocco

Kelly Chiarella

Bobbie DiBattista

Bob Ferrito

Pat Puleo

Nader Sayegh

AnnMarie Smith

Spano also announced the creation of a website,, through which interested persons can contact the transition team with suggestions, questions, or submission of resumes if they wish to be considered for positions in City government.

“Our goal is to use the next six weeks to analyze the present state of government, draw up a blueprint for the future, and prepare to hit the ground running on January first,” said Spano.


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eHeziMayor-Elect Spano Announces Transition Team

Comments 58

  1. The problem is that there are done that don’t want to believe and then there are some that are blind because they want do badly to believe. IF Mr. Spano meant what he said about change he would have included ordinary working or small business people. Instead of using this as a first opportunity to prove he really does plan to change things, there is a lONG list of political supporters and no one thats sole purpose is what is best for our children!! Not ONE! I’m afraid I stead of saying wait until he gets there YOU should look at the list (including spanos) and stop deluding yourself. I hope I’m wrong but I think Yonkers made a mistake!!

  2. forgetting for a moment about the party which by the
    way in yonkers has always been a paper proxy party
    didn’t Murtaugh covet the nomination…didn’t he
    wag his finger at the unions and threaten to strip
    them of their contract rights..did he ever stop to
    consider in advance whether he could get the conservative or independence line..or did he just assume that because he was the republican nominee he
    was entitled to one or both of them…finally john jacono didn’t draft fact Murtaugh worked
    day and night to get on the ballot (taking a vacation
    in the middle of petitioning because he had the party
    working for him)..Martinelli was not the choice and
    neither was calvi for very different reasons..i understand you are frustrated with the republican party
    in yonkers ….but no one stepped up to the plate either and Murtaugh was the best choice of the three..
    unfortunately he has little understanding of the way
    the process works even though he has been in office
    for almost 8 years..castro blanco however delivered
    the nomination to Murtaugh by cutting off martinellis
    third district base…you can’t nail Jim for not delivering the conservative line..he tried his best
    and hugh fox who even has a county job with a republican administration couldn’t do it
    don’t blame jim…and don’t blame jacono..blame the
    candidate.and his arrogant advisors from where were they ..brooklyn? he had a bad campaign, got bad advice
    and raised zero money..and that’s because yonkers is
    now a democratic stronghold…2.25/1 in registration
    and instead of the nons leaning republican they now
    lean democrat…mike spano won in landslide fashion
    and that die was cast from the very beginning because
    Murtaugh was over his head in every way…from
    fundraising ability, to strategic advice, to networking
    with the minor parties..he simply didn’t have what
    it takes to be mayor…and you need to understand as
    I have said over and over mike was once a republican
    and he was well liked..when he switched parties some
    of the republican stallwarts hated him for it..but
    half the republicans still liked him and along with
    all of the democrats it wasn’t even a race

  3. To anon e independent (aka Edelman). You have made my point – Murtagh should not have been the candidate for various reasons and many Republicans warned Jacono of this, yet Murtagh was the candidate Jacono wanted and the candidate he endorsed, even if he was the least electable. Then Jacono disappeared and worked against Murtagh. Given Jacono’s long relationship with the Spano’s (Nick provided him with a job for years), one has to question why Jacono wanted Murtagh. Appears that Jacono wanted to give Spano the least electable candidate, and his and Moffit’s involvement on the transition team bears this out. They have lost all credability as leaders of the Yonkers GOP – they need to resign NOW if the Party is ever going to rebuild itself.

  4. Castro Blanco betrayed Murtagh, and everyone close to Murtagh and his family know it.
    Jacono, Moffit and Lucadamo sold out to Spano earlier this year, and worked behind the scenes to scuttle Murtagh any chance they could. They should resign their posts in the Republican Party immediately.
    And Castro Blanco: please run again for something, anything … we can’t wait to pay you back.

  5. the powers that be in the yonkers republican party
    simply did not support murtaugh’s candidacy period
    however CB did..he worked tirelessly to get martinelli
    not to make the run and therefore not to accept
    the conservative line…if you will note who attended
    the spano ralley on the last sunday will see
    spencer, martinelli’s and other republicans..but
    you didn’t see castro blanco…he worked as hard as
    he could to deliver the conservative line to murtaugh
    but murtaugh at the executive meeting where the final
    decision was made choose not to soft peddle the gay
    marriage issue as he was instructed to do…instead
    he went full throttle on the merits of gay marriage
    and pissed the conservatives off…so they choose martinelli…but even if they had chosen Murtaugh with
    calvi in the race the republican vote was split..and
    it was particularly split in the north east quadrant
    of the city where most republican voters live…so
    CB did his job…as for the others that’s the way
    it goes when you pick a loser from the start…one
    who lost a senate race to cousins…and one who had
    the reputation of walking out on meetings where he
    was being addressed by yonkers residents regardless
    of whether they were union or not..frankly we didnt
    need that kind of confrontational mayor…but as for
    CB he was with Murtaugh the entire time and never entertained the notion of running for mayor in his place..that story is completely off base and like
    many other political myths losers and their supporters
    lookto blame everyone but themselves..and by the
    way which brilliant consultant ran Murtaugh’s campaign..Flemming?

  6. CB certainly is culpable but the real turncoats are Jacono and his executive director Bob Moffit, whose wife, Terry Lucadamo, was named to Spano’s transition team. Jacono annointed Murtagh the GOP Mayoral candidate two years ago despite warnings from some Republicans – he even discouraged others from running for the seat, including Rich Martinelli. Once the convention was done endorsing Murtagh, Jacono and his henchman sat on their hands,disappeared, and bad-mouthed Murtagh – then proceeded to meet with the Spano’s, cutting their deals no doubt, considering both their involvement with the transition team. The Republicans are dead in Yonkers, especially with Jacono at the helm. How can the party be taken seriously when the GOP leader is undermining Republicans and only interested in feathering his own nest (Nicky has provided Jacono with employment for years, most recently as a member of his real estate firm). Jacono needs to step down NOW if the GOP is to survive. Republican-haters can cheer this, but just remember that absolute power corrupts absolutely and we need a two-party system or we all get hosed.

  7. Why all the talk about Castro Blanco.
    He is a political nothing, another mere cruel creation of Amicone and the Amackassin club.
    He has no political history or base. He lost an election to Lesnik that any other of the leading republicans could have easily won.
    He weasels his way into situations by pretending to be a nice guy. Astorino got duped into believing Cb has a political voice in Yonkers
    He is being played by the Spanos to disrupt the rep party along with Jacono & Tubiolo. Jacono & Tubiolo do this intentionally, CB is just played like a fool.
    The result is that Murtagh received the lowest total number of votes for a Rep, citywide, in the history of modern elections in Yonkers.
    Besides being an unappealing prick, Murty, like any other future candidate suffer from the greatest treachery possible within the party itself thanks to lightweights like Castro Blanco.

  8. Actually, Jim Castro Blanco repeatedly told us that he had a handle on the Conservative Party leadership, and that the gay marriage issue would be overcome by Castro Blanco’s personal relationship with new County Chair Hugh Fox.
    This was part of his plan to force Murtagh to withdraw as a candidate in favor of Castro Blanco.
    If Murtagh had been given an accurate assessment of the situation regarding the Conservative nomination, Murtagh might have rethought his stance on gay marriage.
    Please run for office again, Castro Blanco: we’re waiting for you.

  9. The Yonkers GOP needs to stop the division into factions. It makes for good theatre, but it has now brought the party to the brink of irrelevancy.
    The first place to start is by picking a unifying candidate to run for the Assembly. It’s time for the Yonkers GOP to unify behind a candidate to restore the pride it foolishly let languish this past election cycle.

  10. to all of the above…don’t overthink this election…Murtagh lost because he’s an arrogant prig, and every party – Republican, Democratic, Independence, Conservative, Right to Life, Working Families, Green Party et al know it.

  11. Your screen name is “FU Young Liars” and you say our posts are “nasty” The facts on Castro-Blanco’s deceit are irrefutable. Those in the Republican Party who know the truth will not forget that should he ever through his hat in the ring again. Besides he should be staying out of politics and focusing on his responsibilities in the county attorney’s office.

  12. Sorry but I am not CB. He is a good man and he is unfairly being attacked here. You are free to disagree with anyone but these nasty and untrue statements are wrong. Your mean spirited name calling just shows why you and yours will never be taken seriously. Go home and find something productive to do with your time.

  13. Your ferocious defense of Castro-Blanco leads me to believe that you are the man himself. Well, Jim, you can sugercoat it all you want, but you double crossed Murtagh and ended up getting caught red-handed.
    You deserted the Murtagh campaign after trying to get the nomination for yourself. As you know as an election attorney, Murtagh could’ve backed out and his committee to fill vacancies could have appointed you to stand in his place. That is what you wanted, but you didn’t get your way so you jumped ship.
    And to boot, you got your ass handed to you in the 3rd ward where even your own wife was defeated as a district leader and you barely hung onto your own seat by a couple of votes. What an embarassment!! The entire third ward now belongs to the Martinelli’s. That’s why you were too scared to call a 3rd ward re-organization. You knew you got your but kicked.
    There is no bigger loser in this election cycle then you! You’re the Benedict Arnold of this campaign season.

  14. Fact: Maybe if you reveal yourself we may possibly follow suit, hypocrite!
    You are constantly trying to hold down the young people from actually getting anywhere in the party because you are afraid of any competition. We don’t need you, we have the Mclaughlin-Spencers to support us. You need us to win your races for you. You are pathetic. I hope you like getting less then 40% on city wide races, because that is going to become the norm if you don’t start playing nice.

  15. Fact: CB warned the Murtagh camp that the Conservatives would kill Murtagh on the Gay Marriage issue from the beginning. He fought to get Murtagh to modify his stance. The Murtagh team did not think that the Conservatives were serious in their stand on the gay thing.
    Fact: CB never supported anyone but Murtagh. He did nothing to help Martinelli or Calvi.
    Fact: Nobody coult “wrestle the nomination” from Murtagh as the only way for Murtagh to get off the line was to do so on his own and Martinelli had gathered signatures to force a primary. to say something else is a lie and frankly shows that the speaker YR is ill informed or just plain dumb.
    Fact: these conspiracy theories are laughably rediculous. Murtagh lost because of a devisive primary, another Republican in the race on the I line, and a mean spirited anti Spano campaign that didn’t galvanize the Yonkers electorate.
    Fact: the Young Liars need to grow up and grow a set of balls and say publically what they say behind their masks.
    Doesn’t matter, as the Young Liars will be beaten badly when they try to run or make a move.

  16. All the b.s. about promoting a youth movement in the Republican Party is just a line of crap.
    The party sells out the youth every chance it gets. Look at John Rubbo, Joe Crotty, etc. Anytime a bright young republican puts his name out there, the party leadership knocks them down.
    Now what are left with? A bunch of old foggies on the City Council – Larkin, Breeen, and worst of all (Shepherd!!)
    The current party leadership must go. It presided over one of the worst Republican defeats in a quarter of a century. We need new fresh blood to lead this party. This party leadership had its chance and failed. Next time around, let’s get some new people in there and change things up.

  17. Castro-Blanco cost Murtagh and the Republicans this election with his treachery and deceit.
    He sold Murtagh and the Republican City Committee a bill of goods making them believe the Conservative line was locked up. Murtagh took the Republican nod with that understanding. Then when the line looked like it was going to Martinelli, Castro-Blanco tried to wrestle the Republican endorsement away from Murtagh who found out about it and exposed Castro-Blanco, who left the Murtagh camp and went over to support Carlo Calvi.
    The fact of the matter is that the Yonkers Republican City Committee is the most to blame for helping to elect a democratic mayor. They should’ve backed Martinelli, the only candidate who could get the Conservative Line.
    Instead, Murtagh, Tubiolo, Barbato and company bought Castro-Blanco’s nonsense that Murtagh was ensured the conservative line. When they found out Castro-Blanco was wrong, it was too late.
    Castro-Blanco should just stay out of politics from now on. Isn’t he supposed to be practicing law for the County anyway? What is he doing immersed in all of this political wheeling and dealing?

  18. Castro Blanco wanted Murtagh to get the convention designation and then he hit him with the news that Conservatives would not back him, so Murtagh would drop out in favor of Castro Blanco.
    Since the County Conservatives trump City Committee on Wilson Pakulas, Fox would have been able to hold a new vote at any time to consider Castro Blanco’s “new” candidacy.
    Face it: Castro Blanco schemed against Murtagh for months in order to betray him.

  19. This is why “young liars” supported Martinelli over Murtagh, and then sat on their hands in the general. The C.B.-Murtagh crew are a bunch of…….. PRICKS! You have continuously shafted many young Republicans i.e. Joe Crotty and John Rubbo and it seems you will only be happy until the party is a bunch of old, white, men… and CB. We will not let this happen, and it is time for a Young Republican revolution to take the party back from the likes of CB

  20. If you really think it was a set up you need some serious help. Murtagh doesn’t win the Republican nomination without CB gathering the 3rd Ward proxies from under Martinelli and Liam’s noses. Liam thought they had the nomination then they saw where the 3rd Ward went. Had they had the 3rd they win going away. If you knew the inside story, you would know that CB worked his ass off to get Murtagh the C line. WHen Fox and others suggested CB as a candidate to unite the different groups CB said NO several times. You are no YR. You are a Murtagh hater who worked for those working with Spano. It is clear who you are from your dialike of Murtagh and CB. You will be outed!

  21. the above poster is dreaming martinelli convinced restiano and her crew of social troglodytes that he was the only “true ” conservative because of his anti gay marriage stand from the bvery beginning…she in turn delviered the nomination to him castro blanco throughout the process was trying to get martinelli out of the race so murtaugh would be the only republican running and therefore would ipso facto get the conservative line …when martinelli refused to exit the election was over castro blanco wouldn’t have accepted the nomination even if it was offered and by that time murtaugh already had the republican nomination so it couldn’t have been offered..stop making things up

  22. Castro Blanco told Murtagh that the Conservative line was in the bag from day one, and never gave him reason to think otherwise. Meanwhile, he pretended to be negotiation on Murtagh’s behalf.
    Castro Blanco let Murtagh continue to think that he would get the Conservative line, until Murtagh won the Convention designation, and only then let Murtagh know what a serious problem it was.
    Coincidently, Castro Blanco met with several of Murtagh’s closest friends and told them that the Conservatives would not endorse Murtagh, and that they might reconsider their support for Martinelli … if a more acceptable candidate (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) stepped forward and Murtagh exited the race.
    Then then Castro Blanco “graciously” mentioned that he, of course, would never enter the race unless and until Murtagh had withdrawn. Hint, hint.
    In short: Castro Blanco set Murtagh up for a guaranteed fall with the COnservatives, and then attempted to make it look like the Conservatives were willing to accept Castro Blanco as a substitute.
    It was all a setup. Castro Blanco planned it that way all along.

  23. heah What the *uck. What happened to lap boy John Folkerts. Their are 99 people on this list but not You John so i am glad to see that Spano figured you out How come you always get outed as a useless loser u are You couldn’t turn on channel 12 snooze news without seeing that has been wanna be politician sucking Mikes ass screaming Make Mike Mayor To bad Fox took the conservative party away from you and you had nothing to offer little Mikey boy but your useless self. Well glad to see Mikey is not that dumb. Atleast the people of Yonkers are spared from see Folkerts ugly mug until mike runs for Re- election. Good luck mike. You are starting out great.

  24. I am really tired of reading the personal invective
    that permeates some of the posters on this site..I know
    for a fact that jim cb tried everything in his power
    to get martinelli to back out and to deliver the conservative line to murtaugh..there was no back stabbing and there was no disloyalty…the republicans
    simply didn’t have their act together ..vinny restiano
    is a sour grapes politician who couldn’t stand to give
    murtaugh a clean shot at the mayoralty…using the
    gay marriage issue as an excuse ..and murtaugh for his
    part instead of soft peddling his gay marriage position
    went full speed ahaead at the conservative party exec
    committee meeting thereby shoving that issue up their
    rear ends in a way that made his candidacy not palatable for those who were stuck on the social issue
    side of the equation..the race was over the day richard
    martinelli got the conservative line…and calvi
    got the IND line..the republican never had a chance and
    the better move would have been for murtaugh to decline
    the nomination

  25. Castro-Blanco is a snake and a weak lawyer. If he had talent, he would not have to join the patronage mill at the County. Meehan runs a political department not a law dept. CB is Fox’s bitch that spends have this time under Colety’s desk at Board of Elections.

  26. “Young Rep” is a heter who despises Murtagh and CB and cares only for his backstabbing lying little bastard future. CB did everything possible to help Murtagh get the C line but Vinny and the Conservative RTL folks were sold a bill of goods by Liam and company. They gave the line to Martinelli IN SPITE OF all the work that CB and others did to get it for Murtagh. Murtagh was not going to move off the Gay Marriage support and THAT sunk his ship. Fox and others suggested and tried to convince CB to step in and CB repeatedly said NO. There was no treachery. Instead, CB showed his loyalty by supporting Murtagh throughout. He didn’t leave the campaign. through most od August, he took his family on a long planned long vacation. Get your facts straight before you insult and degrade. If I were CB, I woould file a suit to unmask you and hit you with a defamation suit.

  27. are you suggesting that even while jim wsa attempting to pursuade fox to support murtaugh and not matinelli atht when it became clear that martinelli would get the nod casatro blanco offered to run as both the republican and conservative candidates…because
    what doesn’t make sense about athat suggestion is that murtaugh was already chosen as the designee of the republcian party to run for mayor and it was vinny restiano not castro blanco that steered the conservatives away from murtaugh because of his support of gay marrriage…in other words there was no way for castro blanco to run except to primary murtaugh

  28. Because he had been the election lawyer for Hugh Fox and the new Conservative party leadership in their 2010 challenge to Gail Burns, Castro Blanco was asked to represent Murtagh in all discussions about Murtagh receiving the Conservative line.
    Castro Blanco’s negotiations ended up with Fox suggesting that Murtagh withdraw so Castro Blanco could be the Republican and Conservative candidates.
    When he got caught double dealing in June, Castro Blanco quietly skulked away from Murtagh’s campaign.
    There are other stories of Castro Blanco’s treachery, but we’re saving them in case he ever tries to run for office again. We can’t wait!

  29. Hey Mayor Spano Good luck do what is right for the citizens stop the current administarion from wasting all the money before jan ! heard they want to promote friends in police department to places where there is no spots Stop this Please

  30. Hope Hollingsworth on the Public Safety?-what are her qualifications other than appearing on television in support of Spano-what a joke.Wilson Terrero represents only his kind-the Dominicans and not other Hispanic groups in the COY.Bob Ferrito on the education team-this guy after he left the BOE-find a$100,000 job with the Yonkers Parking Authority.

  31. Young Republic is obviously one of the group that worked against Murtagh from the beginning then jumped ship to the Bernice campaign while she supported Spano. They have never liked Murtagh OR CB. CB was loyal and supportive of John from the beginning through the end. He raised money for him, spoke for him, appeared on his behalf and worked to help. Murtagh’s campaign was the victim of many things but not CB.

  32. any person who loses an election to lesnick – cant win anything. lesnick is a loser and if you lose to a loser you become a bigger loser (castro-blanco )

  33. for those of you who will never ever believe that
    some people in public office really want to get the
    job done and that all people in public office only
    want to feather their own nests, I suggest that
    rather than carping about the transition team in
    advance and rather than casting aspirtions as to
    motivation and who is going to get screwed even before
    the new mayor gets sworn in, why don’t you give it
    a rest and let mike have a chance to demonstrate
    what he can do …he has been overwhelmingly elected
    and that means that the vast majority of yonkers
    residents who have confidence in him are entitled
    to have their new mayor do his job…and all of the
    criticisms and doubters in advance should really
    sit back and watch before you make judgements based
    on personal pique rather than facts

  34. Someone please call the Vatican because this city desperately needs an exorcism done on it so we can get rid of these evil spirits once and for all.

  35. Transition member Terri Lucadamo is the wife of Jacono’s right hand, GOP Exec Dir Robert Moffit.
    Murtagh may have his faults, but Castro-Blanco’s underhanded treachery is unsurpassed. He can’t move far enough away — or fast enough.

  36. It appears that just about everyone on that list is either a politician, or a union leader. I guess they will all be promoting their own special interests, not whats best for the city in general. Where are the common taxpayers who are going to get shafted again.

  37. @Older Republic – Castro Blanco is a jealous sell-out prick, but it was Murtaugh’s bad attitude and unprofessionalism that doomed his political career. Castro Blanco will be moving to Mt Pleasant soon. Probably Meehan’s basement or above Robbie’s garage.
    @Young Republic – Who’s wife are you talking about??

  38. It’s a shame Olsen and McGoey were not put on the Financial team so they can learn quickly how Spano is going to have to screw them just as much as Murtagh would have been forced to due to the realities of the budget.
    The one name that is NOT on this list is Queen Patricia McDow. Good.

  39. Why isn’t Jim Castro-Blanco chairing the Transition Committee or one of its subcommittees?
    No one did more to screw Murtagh in the past race than JCB. His treachery is legendary.

  40. The Chairman of the Yonkers Republican party and the wife of its Executive Director are on this list.
    As if Murtagh didn’t already know who was working against him.

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