Yonkers Mayor Spano Ends Long-Standing BIDness Trash Removal “Give Away” By HEZI ARIS

eHezi Archives 17 Comments


Ehezi_charicature
Kipp_IanTaxpayers
to Save Over $300,000 Annually

YONKERS, NY – September 7, 2012 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today
announced Yonkers taxpayers would no longer be burdened subsidizing free trash
collection of local commercial properties in downtown Yonkers, saving taxpayers
$300,000 per year.  Starting November 15, the City of Yonkers will
discontinue trash removal services for commercial businesses located within the
Yonkers Downtown/Waterfront Business Improvement District (BID).

While
conducting a top-down evaluation of the City services and budget obligations,
the Spano administration uncovered that for more than 10 years the City of
Yonkers had been providing this free service -  twice a day, five days a
week – to  the over 200 businesses located within the Downtown Business
District. 

“Yonkers
can no longer subsidize the Downtown BID with free City services that no other
businesses in the City receive or are entitled to,” said Mayor Spano. “What was
supposed to be a temporary bridge to support the BID when it was formed in 2001
has continued for more than a decade and has cost City taxpayers millions of
dollars. While we value the businesses invested in our downtown redevelopment
and are committed to working with them, this practice is unsustainable.”

The
subsidy initiated under Mayor John Spencer’s Administration and maintained
throughout the Mayor Phil Amicone Administration was imposed onto the Yonkers
Downtown Waterfront Business Improvement District (B.I.D.). This telling was
exposed by the Yonkers Tribune years ago despite the deaf ears and the “my way
or the highway” demeanor of both the Spencer and Amicone Administrations

In
addition to the taxpayer cost, this practice likely violates both the State and
US Constitutions as it raises concerns relating to gifts of public funds and
equal protection. In this case, no other private business in the City –
including those affiliated with the City’s other BID – receives this free City
service and, instead all pay for their own trash removal.  As a result,
the free trash service to the Downtown/Waterfront BID members amounts to an
unconstitutional benefit to an isolated group of private businesses.

Mayor
Spano added, “In uncovering this past practice, and putting a swift end to it,
our administration continues to take action and demonstrate to City’s taxpayers
that we are committed to addressing the fiscal crisis which threatens the
City’s long-term solvency.” 

On
August 15 of this year, the City sent a notice letter to the Downtown BID
asking it to notify its membership that the City of Yonkers will no longer
cover the free trash collection for the downtown businesses as of November 15.

As
stated in its original 2001 business plan, the Yonkers Downtown/Waterfront BID
envisioned a joint venture with the City, which would focus on marketing,
façade improvements and code violation concerns. The City remains committed to
supporting those mutual goals as it celebrates the ongoing revitalization of
the downtown waterfront and encourage new investment in this region.

The
garbage subsidy program was initiated as far back as 2006 when then Downtown
Yonkers Merchant Association (DYMA) and the Business Improvement District
(B.I.D.), precursers to the present Yonkers Downtown Waterfron B.I.D. afforded
garbage pickup to 95 percent of some 400 businesses who used the garbage
program. Garbage pick up at that time ranged from $20 to $350 a month. DYMA
Executive Ian Kipp would not explain the scheme of the plan but Yonkers Tribune Editor / Publisher Hezi
Aris was able to figure it out and explained it in the article:

Yonkers Tribune – Yonkers’ Getty Square BIDness By eHezi

www.yonkerstribune.com, 10 June 2006 [cached]

Ian Kipp
said garbage pickup became DYMA’s sole mission and source of revenue after the BID took over in March 2002. Membership
in DYMA was voluntary, but the BID
was then, and is presently funded by a 6 percent surcharge on property tax in
the district.

PHOTO CAPTION: Ian Kipp, center, the downtown development manager for the City of Rocky Mount, talks with Fred Turnage as his daughter Eva, 7, listens Tuesday during a going away party for Kipp at Taste of Paradise. Photo by Alan Campbell and courtesy of Rocky Mount Telegram.

The
garbage collection was accomplished by DPW crews that fell under the auspices
of then DPW Commissioner John Liszewski who is presently the Commissioner of
Finance. DYMA collected fees divulged years ago by Ian Kipp to Hezi Aris but the
fees collected were never paid to the Yonkers City coffers, instead they were
used for the operation of DYMA. That practice was initiated by Mayor John
Spencer, continued by Mayor Phil Amicone and will at last end under Mayor Mike
Spano’s Administration. Bravo Mayor Spano, Bravo! 

Learn more by reading: Past Conduct of Yonkers Downtown/Waterfront BID Reminiscent of Recent Coverups. That article, also written by Hezi Aris, was written January 24, 2008.

eHeziYonkers Mayor Spano Ends Long-Standing BIDness Trash Removal “Give Away” By HEZI ARIS

Comments 17

  1. Not only does Sansone NOT get grants, he RETURNS them! Almost half a million in grant money was returned to NYS and the Feds because he’s too incompetent and lazy to manage them. what happened to the $250K in federal stimulus money for new street lighting (no, not the “twinkle” lights)? what happened to the downtown surveillance cameras? There was a purse snatching/assault on Main Street and no cameras. Garbage carters are swarming the downtown trying to get the merchants to sign up for garbage pick-up service. Sansone just threw up his hands and now the downtown will be clogged with trucks from a lot of different carters picking up garbage. What was all that garbage money used for? Films on Main Street?

  2. Facts
    Sansone does not write any grants
    He is paid for walking and talking
    Streets are filthy
    Commercial stores have no c of o or signs or awning permits
    garbage is all over
    streets are dirty and smell

  3. If I remeber correctly, Sansone made alot of arguments during the ridge hill development. So Amicone bought him off with a Job. Period?
    Is there more to it, I would like to know if you have more info?

  4. and in all of this Hezi fails to mention that Steve Sansone is the Executive Director of the BID
    So I’ll do it for you
    BTW Ian hasn’t had anything to do with the BID for many years why bring him up?
    Hezi seems to have an agenda to protect Sansone
    …but this has already been raised on this site to no avail

  5. this article and the city press release is seriously misleading
    it infers merchants were given free services.
    bullshit…..merchants paid
    while the city claims 300k in savings the reality is the BID collected 750K annually
    and that does not include the BID assessment
    that is a fact
    IMO Sansone is nothing more than a developers whore
    the above poster got it right: yes figure it out

  6. The total cost since 2002 was over 10 million dollars. Sansone has been paid 500,000 since he took the job and is a total waste.
    Building owners pay in there taxes money to the BOID for what? Riverfest?
    YBID was set up for the right reason and no leadership caused this with Amicone filing the Board with his favorites caused it demise.
    Bring back the Downtown Management Association and save property taxes.
    Dearon is the YBID chairman and yet pays no taxes? Figure that out!

  7. Don’t hear from any of the Yonkers Firefighters or Barry McGoey on the Mayor’s position on this one, to help cut unnecessary costs to the city that doesn’t involve the fire department. What is it? They only come out and become vocal if it only affects the YFD.
    If you can’t comment across all sectors of the city, good or bad, you shouldn’t comment at all

  8. This is a good thing if somewhat symbolic like the cars.
    However, “violates the equal protection clause?” I was not aware that garbage collection was a constitutional right. Perhaps the pickups were unethical or even illegal: but calling it a constitutional issue is inflammatory. It is what it is: wrong.

  9. In regarding the constitution here are 2 other taxes that are unconstitutional.
    1. The hostage tax (If you sell your house you pay Yonkers a hostage tax)
    2. The income tax surcharge which was a “temporary” tax, has been increased almost every year.
    There needs to be a lawsuit.
    What about all of the businesses that are not paying their fair share in property taxes? Isn’t that ” an unconstitutional benefit to an isolated group of private businesses”?

  10. 300, here 200 there. He needs to cut the payroll. All of this while symbolic is not lowering our taxes. He needs to set a tone of keeping property taxes flat for at least 5 years to stop people from leaving here, and it will happen.

  11. It is about time, but the reality was it went way beyond the $300,000.00. It was the dumping fees, the trucks and overtime as well as the fact that it violated the City Charter, Why wait for November?

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