YONKERS, NY — September 29, 2015 — John Carr, Executive Director of Facilities at the Yonkers Public Schools (YPS) was this September fired and rehired. Earlier in the month Joe Celli, Deputy Commissioner at the Yonkers Department of Public Works, overseer of maintenance of city-wide facilities was also likewise fired and rehired. The firing of each was illegal. They were each reinstated to their position. Why the coverup? What is at stake? And how are City of Yonkers personnel treated?
A “zone of silence” over the prospect for reviving and rejuvenating school buildings is known among elitist circles. Some Yonkersites in the know advise that Democratic Majority Leader Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senator George Latimer, Assemblymember Shelley Mayer, Yonkers Board of Education Board Trustee President Dr. Nader Sayegh, Esq., YPS Superintendent Dr. Michael Yazurlo, and YPS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada have each been given their marching orders to support a $2 billion school infrastructure revival in Yonkers. Recognizing the $2 billion conjectured cost, and knowing that the City of Yonkers (CoY) is reimbursed to the tune of 65% of total buildout by New York State, as opposed to the 98% enjoyed by Buffalo. 65% of $2 billion = $1.3 billion New York State is stipulated to pay out of the $2 billion total cost, assuming that figure will not change. That being the case, $700 million would need to be paid by the taxpayer. Over a 10-year period, devoid of any financial carrying charges, it would cost CoY taxpayers $70 million every year for 10 years. For every $3 million in debt, the taxpayer’s burden is increased by 1%. $70 million divided by $3 million = 23.33%. The tax cap is 2%. That won’t work.
Like the Public Private Partnership for Education (P3forE) concept promoted as the panacea for resuscitating the YPS school buildings by former Yonkers Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio and his then CFO Bracchita, the concept was promoted without facts and figures. It failed only because the Mike Spano Spano Administration was not privy to the deal with the financeer intended for the project at that time; the Australian based Maquairie Group. It was not about education or the kids then or now. It is about the money to be made off the project.
Yonkers present circumstances make this plan unaffordable.
The coverup hides those financial institutions that are said to already be engaged in the presently mentioned $2 billion project. It will not be divulged with whatever nuances are attached or detracted from its inception until being publicly revealed in the early days of 2016 after this reading. Will the financier of such a project have political ties to members of government, such as those affiliated to family and friends? Why haven’t the potential financiers been vetted in public? How many financiers were made privy to the development? Who are they? When will the public be told? After all, it is the taxpayer’s wallet, isn’t it?
Will the project be capped in total costs? Is that a covenant that is part of such an agreement? Will the financier accept the financial responsibility of error on their part in calculating the final tabulations? Will there be a bond to guarantee all financial burden throughout the process of development and beyond by 50 years after completion of the project? It must!
Millions of dollars are at stake. Money for financiers, lobbyists, friends and family employment prospects, etc.
I suggest the histrionics on this project is only meant to appease the desire for schools to be upgraded. Yonkers will suffer many more years of waiting or suffer the onerous tax burden that will cost much more than it should to pay off the graft. The process of discussion and hiding information from the public will cause another generation of students from failing to have an opportunity to learn.
The Mike Spano demeanor has evidently not been carried out with respect to how personnel are treated. First off, neither Carr or Celli were known to be civil service workers, which demand standards and protocol be followed that speak to their not doing that required of them. In each case, Yonkers City Hall had to take them back. In the process, they shamed each of them before their colleagues. In so doing, it was a loud admonition to all who are aware of these circumstances that every employee either toe the line as directed or they may lose their employ. Scary and draconian conduct anathema to civil conduct.
Telephone inquiries to which there has been no response: Johnn Carr, Joe Celli, Yonkers City Hall. Simply silence!