HEZITORIAL ANALYSIS: Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano’s Sequestered Fundraiser Fails to Silence Firefighters By HEZI ARIS

eHezi Emergency Services, Finance, Governance, Hezitorial, Westchester County, NY, Yonkers, NY 35 Comments

Invites and Exacerbates Potential Legal Concerns for Both Mayor Mike Spano and Mike Spano

Charicature of a younger, better looking Publisher / Editor Hezi Aris.

Charicature of a younger, better looking Publisher / Editor Hezi Aris.

YONKERS, NY — January 21, 2016 — The fundraiser intended to embellish Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano’s coffers at a minimum $250 per plate toward his conjectured and intentioned effort to become the next Westchester County Executive failed to silence Yonkers Firefighters. The Firefighters, comprised of approximately 200 people, those from the Yonkers Uniform Fire Officers Association and those from the I.A.F.F. – Local 628, were heard, but not as one would expect. Without even uttering one syllable, Mayor Mike Spano was at the ready.

Legal counsel representing the Yonkers Firefighters was in seemingly amiable negotiations with Yonkers Corporation Counsel Michael Curti suggesting that Yonkers City Hall would permit principled and peaceful demonstrations on the public sidewalk abutting the Castle Royale’s main entrance and across the street from it. Curti intimated that would not be a problem, yet unbeknown to the Firefighter’s legal counsel, the Yonkers Police Department had paddy wagons at the ready to arrest and throw those arrested to the Yonkers City Jail if they chose to insinuate themselves beyond the barricades that precluded peaceful assembly and demonstration. It seems Mayor Mike Spano had heard and understood the Firefighters outcry. Doubling down on his resolve to silence and dismiss the Firefighters, Mayor Spano pitted the Yonkers Police Department (YPD) against the Yonkers Fire Department (YFD), with respect to the so-called “pay to play” event. No matter Mayor Mike Spano’s efforts, intentioned or otherwise, the Yonkers Firefighter chose to not move in violation of or trespass YPD’s instructions. YFD submitted toYPD directives so as not to disrespect the YPD.

Curti’s “con” diminished his credibility among YFD and YFD’s legal counsel. A legal challenge, far more intricate than that facing the stalled “negotiations” between Yonkers City Hall and the UFOA, who continue to serve Yonkersites’ property, life and limb despite lacking a contract or pay increase for over seven years, such is the ugly head reared. Yonkers City Hall has chosen to dismantle and claw back payment to those retired officers who were so badly injured and disabled because of a job related injury that they are now incapable of working in their past capacity as Firefighters. Some were able to transition to jobs behind a desk, while others were not so fortunate. Whether the challenge is stage four cancer, broken limbs, skin melted by the horror of fire, or a visit from the Grim Reaper, Yonkers City Hall continues to exact what some are calling retribution by Mayor Mike Spano for the UFOA and Local 628 not endorsing the incumbent Mayor Mike Spano for a second term in office in the November 2015 re-election contest.

While negotiations should have already reaped accommodation, Yonkers City Hall has initiated tactics that have wrought the disdain of UFOA and Local 628.

Expunging the Firefighters’ right to assemble and give expression to their Constitutional Rights, Mayor Spano will have initiated a legal suit that will cost the City of Yonkers’ taxpayers millions to defend, and likely lose, at the taxpayers expense. Even tonight’s event, supposedly a “private” fundraiser, has consumed an exorbitant amount of Yonkers Police overtime, a K-9 Unit, Police Officers on traffic duty, Department of Public Works to assemble and disassembly metal barricades, and so much more, for a “private effort” on the taxpayer’s dime. Why does Yonkers City Hall believe this is standard protocol?

Local 628 President Barry McGoey said that Yonkers is not the United States of Spano!”

The Yonkers Tribune wasn’t able to reach any spokesperson to speak with on Mike Spano’s behalf with respect to his fundraising effort as that realm must be separate from the issues yet to be resolved that fall under the aegis of and concerning the City of Yonkers and Mayor Mike Spano. they must be separate and there has yet to be named a person toward that capacity, Spano’s conduct is neither legal in his role as mayor nor ethical as a political office holder who has yet to separate his personal aspiration from his responsibilities as Mayor of the City of Yonkers. This reporter finds it impossible to extricate one effort from the other.

Sadly, Mayor Mike Spano conduct as per his direction or by those who speak on his behalf have bungled their fundraising effort in such a fashion as to likely invite legal scrutiny over this telling.

eHeziHEZITORIAL ANALYSIS: Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano’s Sequestered Fundraiser Fails to Silence Firefighters By HEZI ARIS

Comments 35

  1. This is Barry McGoey posting and if Hezi cannot verify it, I’m sure he will take it down immediately.

    I am asking all members (and retirees) of the Yonkers Fire Department to refrain from responding to these “anonymous” comments on this blog and also on social media. Please let me and Local 628 and John Flynn and UFOA respond to comments worthy of a response and to ignore the rest.

    Unlike some of the “political” class that believe they are above reproach and are idolized by the public, WE know the opposite to be true. WE know that the residents of Yonkers are fully with us, as are most of the public figures in Yonkers. I can’t (and wouldn’t) tell you the number of high-profile people who called me over the weekend (many who were at the Mayor’s event that we protested at) that said they are on our side. Understandably, they had “no choice” but to attend, or to suffer the consequences. It is after all, a pay-to-play system here in Yonkers. And a list of those who “did not attend” the event would also be quite telling. I will provide that in due time.

    There were a few points in the last string of comments that I will address.

    As far as the other unions, I think almost every union in Yonkers (and in the tri-state area) knows that the Yonkers Firefighters of Local 628 will stand by them at any time we are asked. We have done it before and we will do it again. Whether it is a nurses rally at Westchester Med, or a strike rally for 32B-32J or a picket line with the Communications Workers of America at Verizon. It is because of the fact that we offer our assistance and support that other unions are so willing to stand with us. And maybe that’s why so many unions respect us. We will stand shoulder to should with our brothers and sisters in the YFT and CSEA and will assist them in any way we can – all they (or any other union) have to do is ask. And in return, all we ask is that they and the entire AFL-CIO support us and help us defeat anti-labor politicians.

    As far as political threats – we don’t make any. But we are promising to challenge ANY politician who does not fully support us, and we will try to convince all other unions to oppose any anti-labor politician. Calls and letters have already been dispatched to our counterparts in many area unions including those in the NYPD, FDNY, NYC Corrections, NYC Sanitation, NYC EMS, NYC Building Trades, NYS Corrections, NYS Courts, etc. as well as all of the regional Firefighter and other public section unions. Its a long list, but we intend to make sure that the entire labor movement is made aware of the situation here in Yonkers.

    As far as Dr. Fred Hernandez, Local 628 did not support, endorse, or fund his campaign. We did however attend his campaign kick-off breakfast to hear what he had to say. But some people here in Yonkers don’t think anyone should hear any voice or opinion other than their own. Looking back, maybe we should have supported Dr. Hernandez – and he is a DOCTOR, not “Freddy.” If Local 628 had supported Dr, Hernandez, he wouldn’t have been just 150 or so signatures shy to get on the Democratic line in a primary against Mayor Spano. If we had supported Dr. Hernandez our several (yes, several) hundred registered Democrats in Yonkers (yes, they live in Yonkers) could have easily obtained 5,000 valid signatures for him in the first week of petitioning. But, we didn’t support Dr. Hernandez and he being a political newcomer without a strong team did not get enough signatures to get on the ballot. As a result, Mike Spano had no Democratic opponent and put “the fix” in to make sure there was a very weak Republican candidate in Bill Nuckels. Bill had some good ideas and made some good points, but he had no money and no organization to help him.

    How does that answer a couple of your comments and opinions? If you don’t like it – too bad.

    if anyone would like to speak to me directly call in to Hezi’s radio program any Tuesday morning at 11:00 am and I can answer any questions you have.

    Barry McGoey

    1. Perhaps the parents of YPS should join you in your fight…. We too are getting tired of the politically bullshit of this city. Year after year it’s the same story. …. Thank you for comments on Dr. Hernandez. Perhaps “we” dropped the ball on this different opportunity. Keep fighting!

  2. I would really be impressed if Barry stood in solidarity with other union leaders who have salary and contract issues. But that would NEVER happen. Put your money where your mouth is and stand in solidarity with CSA and the teachers’ union if you are really about justice like you claim to be. It is evident that you guys don’t care about Yonkers, you don’t care about the constituents, you don’t care about your fellow union workers and your trusty attorney/union leader/mouthpiece won’t advocate for anyone’s contract and salary beside his own small entitled circle. And as for Spano, too late now, he’s already in office. Oh right, I forgot. You guys can’t vote because none of you live in Yonkers.

    1. You want Barry to fight your battles too? Stand in solidarity? Where were the other unions when the firefighters went 6 years without a contract, and while the fire officers have gone almost 7 years now without a contract? You were too busy worrying about yourselves to give a crap. Barry is doing his job, fighting for his firefighters. You fight your own battles.

  3. People have more important things to think about than Barry’s love/hate relationship with the Mayor. Barry losing all credibility. And yes, how does it work for him straddling both sides of the fence attending Fred Hernandez’s fundraiser. Sick of all you spineless phonies. Real issues going on in the world like Flint water contamination. Grow up and stop wasting taxpayer dollars with your toddler tantrums.

    1. Nice logic. More important things are happening in the world so we shouldn’t worry about the violation of our public workers’ constitutional rights by Mikey Spano here in little ole’ Yonkers, nor should we bother with his use of taxpayer money to secure a private fundraising event.

      Too bad they wouldn’t let a bit of lead seep into the Yonkers water supply. It might thin out the herd a bit and save the city from dipshits like you.

      1. Be concerned about our 8 failing schools, 35 percent unemployment, homelessness in Yonkers, our impotent Dem Council, the ridiculous patronage at City Hall, incompetence and waste. Start a constitutional case about those REAL issues instead of your incessant parochial myopia about lining firefighter pockets. Go call your mother a perjorative dipshit instead of insulting people online, you ignorant pig.

  4. Now the threats are extended to the council and other elected officials. This union boss is out of control and is not representing his members well.

    threats, intimidation and coercion are over……you crossed the line.

    As far as threats go…Barry how did it work for you with Freddy? Also you threatened Michael Sabatino. Howdid that work for you?

    Now you threaten Liam?

    Finally the taxpayers are fed up with your threats and greed.

    By the way….buy a hat that FITS your big head . You look like a moron on utube. Lmfao!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. In all of his interactions with the press and public Mr. McGoey has been respectful, rational, articulate, passionate, and informative – in short, a model for public workers and politicians. Moreover, Mr. McGoey should be commended for highlighting the lack of support by local politicians, whether a council member, council president, mayor, or otherwise.

      City Council members crossed a line when they voted unanimously (8-0) to give themselves a pay raise for their part-time work, and Mayor Spano crossed a line when he decided to attack disabled firefighters suffering from burns, cancer, or other debilitating conditions. No amount of spin will convince Yonkers residents to the contrary. We stand with our police, firefighters and sanitation workers, who stand on the front lines each and every day in order to ensure a safe, clean, functioning city.

      Unlike Spano, McLaughlin, Sabatino, and their ilk, our public workers will be still here in ten years, still serving the city, still getting the job done. And we’ll continue to support them.

  5. The Spano gang has a love hate relationship with this blog. On the one hand hate the editor of this blog calls them out and exposes their corruption. On the other hand they love that they can come on here anonymously and sell third verbal heroin of lies and deceit. Typical of everything the Spano gang does. They smile to your fave and then bad mouth you as soon as they walk away. The orgy is over for the Spano gang.

  6. The Fireman of Yonkers are out of control. They are one of the highest paid Fire departments in the country and they still want more. There action are not in the best interest of the City or its citizens. They have unlimited sick days and their absentism is very high in order to drive overtime pay through the roof. They will surely bankrupt the City, the only silver lining is that then the State can come in and clean things up. The Fireman are important to this community but they actions and working of the system shows there lack of respect for the Citizens of Yonkers. I remember the day when I was proud of the Fireman of this City now I am shamed by their continued actions !

    1. I think you are I’ll-informed about these ff’s. Please present some factual elements to your posts. If you like, you can foil request all yfd dept records (including absentee and ot percentages). From there, you can present your findings to the world as opposed to spouting false, dishonorable statements anonymously from behind a keyboard. I bet you’d take a yfd job if offered to you too!

    2. Tactics include falsely accusing union leaders and members of earning exorbitant salaries (Citizen’s comments) and hiring law firms that specialize in union busting (which Mayor Spano is doing).

      Greedy, corrupt politicians and their lackeys are the ones who are out of control and Yonkersites understand this intuitively.

  7. This is Barry McCoy’s, President of Local 628 Yonkers Firefighter’s Union & a Lawyer’s most recent Facebook post tonight from about an hour ago…..https://www.facebook.com/barry.mcgoey/posts/10207925583594389?fref=nf&pnref=story
    The absolute silence of almost every other elected official in the City of Yonkers is deafening and disturbing. Some of these so-called “friends”‘of the Yonkers Firefighters have stood by silently for way too long as they have watched the YFD fend off the attacks of Mayor Mike Spano and his henchmen. There comes a point in time when it is necessary to take a position in a conflict and sometimes to even chose sides. Neutrality and/or cowardice are not options any more. Each and every one of these elected officials will soon be put on notice that unless they stand firmly and publicly with the YFD, then they will be considered to be in agreement and in support of Mayor Mike Spano and his constant attacks on the YFD. Any such elected official or want-to-be elected official can not only expect to be challenged in their next general election, but also face a primary election challenge. This is not a threat – it is a promise. We are already actively seeking out qualified potential candidates for office who are interested in earning the financial and organizational support of hundreds and hundreds of motivated and driven members of Local 628 the UFOA and our vast network of friends, families and retirees. Please share this with your Facebook friends and let them know we are seeking candidates interested in running for public office.

  8. The Mayor is misleading the public. It’s not about the raises or money, its about changes to the disability plan that Yonkers Firefighters have had for decades. And its about taking away disability benefits from those that are injured on the job and also disability payments that retirees have been been given for decades and which has been tested in a NYS Supreme court case and these benefits were found to be legal.

    All the unions for the cops and firefighters have gotten the same raises and the Yonkers Fire Officers are not asking for more than any other union…..

    These are the real reasons The Yonkers Fire Firefighters and Yonkers Fire Officers are battling against Mayor Spano….
    From the Yonkers Tribune……
    · Yonkers Fire Officers have been working without a contract and have not had a cost of living increase for over seven years. (the same raises given to all the other unions)

    · Yonkers Firefighters and Fire Officers, who have been found to be fully disabled by both the State of New York and the City of Yonkers, have had their benefits illegally reduced by Mayor Spano, despite a decision in NYS Supreme Court which found the payments to be proper and justified.

  9. Is anyone else concerned about the fact that both this and past administrations routinely violate contracts, court orders, and constitutional rights using taxpayer dollars as their unlimited defense funds? Most in office are indemnified from personal prosecution so they can do what they please to whom they please with no fear of reprisals. It may not be outright criminal but is at the very least immoral and certainly pushes others into a metaphorical corner giving them the impression they have no choice but to resort to desperate measures. I’d tread carefully.

  10. Spilled Pepper? Nah, I heard that Commissoners Gardner, Meier, and Darcy were allegedly seen trying to look up First Lady Mary Calvi Spano, Christina Gilmartin, and Sue Gerry’s dresses, under the guise of having dropped one of their knotted napkins at this gala.

    These 3 “Divas of Yonkers” are allegedly signing a contract to fight at Wrestlemania 23 against The Bella Twins and Rick Flair’s Daughter. Love to be at ring side for that one.

  11. I was told Fire Commissioner John Darcy was at the gala…Mary Calvi Spano accidently spilled some pepper on him rendering him unconcious…when he came to he kicked her ass…

    1. Commissioner was busy looking at himself in the mirror and TRYING to look truthful…….It’s very hard for him to tell the truth. Go hide behind your secretary!

  12. Another loser former mayor of yonkers without anyplace to go. If he thinks his party was filled with friends then he should talk to Amicone Spencer and the rest of the loser class that held office before him. They are all friendless now that they can’t do anything for their so called friends. Just leeches looking to latch onto who ever is in power or office at the present time.

  13. Spano picked another fight he can’t win, also does he actually think he can win the County Executive job. Him and his felon brother are barking up the wrong tree mark my words he will be a loser in the long run.

  14. D-bag Spano will spend hundreds of thousands in overtime and legal fees from lawsuits, which will really screw up his budget. If he had a brain he’d be dangerous, this dumb, useless, crooked, GED-educated, ribbon-cutting, gyro-sucking, greaseball fuckwit and his family of degenerates criminals.

    Oh, and the YPD and YFD should stand as one (along with all other Yonkers public workers). Union and proud means standing together with other public workers (and not just your own union).

    In solidarity

  15. How do you like that Joe? The Firefighters will sue sue sue Mike Spano and the City of Yonkers in Federal Court and the City will spend hundreds of thousands defending that lawsuit. And when the Firefighters win their lawsuit you will pay more, including their legal fees. So you’re right Joe. Mike Spano is an asshole.

    1. The Firefighters of Local 628 and the Fire Officers of the UFOA share your frustration Joe. We are well aware that the taxpayers pay our salary, and we are committed to protecting lives and property in the City of Yonkers to the best of our ability, regardless of how much hate is directed at us by Mike Spano. We know that this whole mess that has been created by Mike Spano out of sheer vindictiveness is an embarrassment to the entire city. As we continue to fight this battle (which is likely to go on for a long time and get worse before it gets better) to protect ourselves and our families from Mike Spano’s vindictive attempts to take away our protections from line of duty injuries, we are sure that Yonkers residents will see that we are conducting ourselves in this fight as we always do- aggressively and creatively, yet honestly and respectfully. We are well aware that the manner in which we conduct ourselves reflects on the entire city, and we will do nothing to bring discredit upon the great City of Yonkers.

  16. America is becoming just what we are fighting overseas, a despotic nation. When you step on a persons constitutional rights you should lose your right to govern, just like all of those assholes in Flint, who were poisoning the residents.

    I must admit I love the quote “Yonkers is not the United States of Spano” Just like his republican predecessor Amiclown they actually think they can get away with this.
    United States of Spano. Love it. It shall now be known as follows USS

    Unfortunately Amiclown was let off the hook by the Silly Council. Spano should be made pay for any legal action out of his own pocket. And that goes for any elected representative who stamps all over the constitution.

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