Yonkers Demanded New Leadership and Voted For Him
Mike Khader’s Win Is Not a Mandate of His Winning But Rather a Loss by the Incumbent
Yonkersites cast their vote to ascertain what they believed would be best for the City of Yonkers. They had in the majority dismissed the past by ushering a new face and an expected demeanor they believe they recognized in Mike Khader, the Yonkers City Council President-elect. There may be promise in the newcomer, unfettered by a political ancestry that tarnishes every politician over time, seemingly bar none. And, while history is over time unkind to those who recoil from promises they are said to have expressed, it must be also recognized that those who exacted a “quid pro quo” promise for their respective support from him, were hopefully cognizant of Mike Khader’s capacity as Yonkers City Council President.
Supporters and naysayers alike have been disheveled by the outcome. Some throw their hands in the air frustrated by the backlash the monotony of promises unkept, elitist access, retribution, faltering infrastructure, declining education outcome and disintegrating school structure, economic development that has yet to pay for investments and inducements made by the city, state, and federal governments restrain Yonkers’ prospects. So too are the imposed, yet out of control constructs that permit overtime, pension padding, retribution, loss of employment, elevated positions devoid of merit, emboldened by “family and friends network” sycophants, have lessened the city’s capacity to maintain a sufficient number of police and fire personnel to guard the safety of limb and property. Each is a construct devised and emboldened over many years of silence and the pronounced fear of speaking truth to power. In conceptualizing wher Yonkers has been, and the prospects for a city yearning for more of itself, beseeching those in power to assist every Yonkersite to have the option to do better to the capacity and the planning to bring about better prospects for the fourth largest city in New York State. The challenge is great. It is also doable. Yonkersites have chosen to relinquish their options in life by not making the time to engage in the political process by which their interest can be afforded the political life that is missing in a city dominated and controlled by those who serve themselves as the rest of society is beaten and demeaned by illegal conduct that undermine those who engage in standards and methods said to be demanded of all yet unenforced because the institutions created to scrutinize looked the other way for too many years that few today recognize the disparity and vagaries of right from wrong, that which is ethical, and that which is not.
The political landscape that was created and culminated for the most part, only because some of the ballots are in contention awaiting official validation, by those aspiring to be re-elected for another term, or vying for elected office for the first time. In fact each had, to one degree or another been too timid, in fact afraid, to reveal who they really were. They feigned being “nice”, and “open-minded”, and “transparent”, among so many other attributes based on their “talk” to which not one was willing to show us that they had learned to “walk the walk” they claimed. The “sell” worked for many years, but Yonkersites had had enough, they allowed themselves to be robbed generation and generation, and they now found themselves bereft of prospects for themselves and their children. They did not need anyone to tell them how Yonkers arrived at this juncture. They listened to themselves after so many years and concluded their prospects could be embellished to some degree if only they became engaged in the election process. So on November 7th voters came out to cast their vote. The outcomes, yet to be determined in some political races, are what those too long dismissed have chosen. The electorate has spoken and they are on a path toward change. They are ravenous in their intent. They have climbed to the highest pedestal of the political hierarchy. They now know they are in charge. There is no rationale that can delude them from the outcome they ensured by their ballot. It is a transformative circumstance driven by an engaged electorate who had allowed others to undermine them for so long, that the dismissed could no longer suffer the status quo. They have cast the gauntlet their transformative vote now demands. There is no ambivalence over the vote and its meaning. There are no “ifs, ands, or buts”. No equivocation whatsoever. The winners did not win, the losers could not recreate themselves into anything other than their past attested to. Even those that won failed.
The above is the backdrop. What follows is the reality.
Yonkers City Council President-elect Mike Khader is nothing more than a glorified Yonkers City Councilperson, one of seven. Some pundits and quacks suggest he promised one thing to one interest group, corporate entity, or another. Such is the horse-trading many suggest has taken place in the past, and infer it will continue into the future. While history, such as has been revealed may attest, such tellings have or will be told; future behavior cannot. Even the suggestion that agenda and/or animus is “truth” is not only unkind, but also unproven. Future behavior and thereby outcome may have changed to the extent that political subterfuge exacted by past politicos is now known to have lost its prowess and may inform the re-elected and the elected for the first time to be wary of treading beyond the voters’ expectation of them. the must deliver or the “swamp” will again be drained.
So what can be expected from those who will be sworn into elected office on January 1, 2011. Yonkers should expect that each will divulge to their best ability to speak the “truth” to the needs of the city, the financial capacity and options available, that every representative, whatever their job description, including those of our Albany delegation who made promises they did not keep and did not deliver upon, knowing they come up for re-election in one year’s time best get it done.
What can each member of the Yonkers City Council do to respond to the demands of the voter? Simply, an uncomplicated or even more complex explanation of the enormity of the tasks before them that they must engage to set Yonkers record straight. An explanation of what can be done to mitigate lack of attention to issues, by focusing on them now, and if not financially able to do so, to explain why not, and when the next visit and reassessment will again be made to move and focus on the issue again.
So whether it is infrastructure, the patronage employment mill, the no show jobs, the patronage, the remuneration that is too high, the allowance of overtime to pension pad and its use to coddle some and dismiss others must be fixed. The take-home cars must be taken away. The cost so exorbitant, as are the cars destroyed, the damage to other vehicles, sidewalks, innocent bystanders, the escalating cost for replacement, the subsidized costs of fuel, etc., can be replaced by GPS tracking of mileage travelled and the mileage engaged to attend a specific event that must be validated and thereafter deducted from allowance granted by the tax code. If removed as such benefits may be in the future, so be it. Those in elected office must buy or lease their own cars, pay for the insurance, and fuel. An accounting of the costs must be divulged.
The quarterly report must be divulged every three months. The Yonkers City Charter demands it. Legal suit must be brought if the administration is not in compliance.
The number of legal counsel to the Yonkers City Council must be reduced. It is not only superfluous but obnoxious and arrogant.
The cost of legal notices must be reduced to save money by having rates specific to media Websites. Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano is aware of the potential savings. Yonkers can no longer afford the costs that are likely to exceed $600,000 per annum presently. This must be resolved.
While NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli talks a good game, he repeats himself year after year and yet still approves every budget that has ever come before him. The City of Yonkers (CoY) must adhere to the standards demanded of it or be permitted to remove the albatross from our necks. DiNapoli has become an enabler of permitted dysfunction rather than helpful in guiding CoY to a better fiscal platform.
The Yonkers City Council can bring about transparency to familiarity to agenda by issuing the appropriate backup information as to the purpose of its request of the legislative branch by the executive branch.
The General Election of November 7, 2017, revealed a collective aspiration among Yonkersites that has been silenced for three generations.
The legislative branch of must fully vet issues before the public in Person and by video capacity. each member of the Yonkers City Council must address these concerns and validate their position. Yonkersites are demanding options that benefit CoY.
There are many interest groups in CoY. Each is comprised of need, concern, and passion. One interest group cannot be given more weight than the other. There is however the ability to serve all by serving The People of the great City of Yonkers before one that leans inappropriately to one over the other. Yonkers needs balance of thought, temperament and outcome.
If the Public maintains its vigilance, it will be a fruitful outcry me. And further still, media must do its part to speak truth to power.
Yonkers Tribune noticed almost a year ago that Mike Khader was unencumbered by the political elitism and self serving governance to which Yonkersites had too long suffered. Mike Khader is a man with aspiration for success and prominence that he can achieve if he can maintain an ethical standard for himself that is respectful of Yonkersites. Nothing less will do. If he veers off course, the Yonkers Tribune will tell it like it is. My expectation is that Yonkers City Council President-elect Mike Khader has that capacity and will not succumb to the standards of the past. He is expected to build a responsive legislative platform that can coalesce a workable majority to which The People can and will be served.