New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to Fill the Fiscal Shortfall of the Yonkers Public School District

eHezi Community, Education, Finance, Governance, Hezitorial, History, Law, People, Politics, Westchester County, NY, Yonkers, NY 15 Comments

The Hezitorial Regarding Yonkers’ Legacy of Fiscal Mismanagement

Updated and Amended June 3, 2018 @ 10am

Charicature of a younger, better looking Editor-at-Large / Radio Host Hezi Aris.

YONKERS, NY — June 2, 2018 — New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo arrived late Friday afternoon, June 1, 2018, to Yonkers City Hall after a long day whereby he delivered eulogy at the funeral services of the esteemed Assemblymember Denny Farrell. Services lasted well over three hours. Thereafter, Gov. Cuomo saw his mother, Mathilda Cuomo, who attended the service, to her residence. By late afternoon, Governor Cuomo arrived at Yonkers City Hall. Yonkers Tribune has learned that he had an audience with Yonker Mayor Mike Spano, the Yonkers City Councilmembership, as well as City Hall appointees. Gov. Cuomo is said to have advised those in attendance that he would deliver the Yonkers Board of Education (YBoE) from its financial duress by filling the gap of their budgetary needs. Toward that end, Gov. Cuomo gave his word! 

Gov. Cuomo demanded the final revision of Mayor Mike Spano’s FY2018-2019 Proposed Budget first win passage by the Yonkers City Council majority and the finacial Shortfall would be filled as deduced and defined by Yonkers Finance Commissioner John Liszewski thereafter. No additional funds would be allocated for the city side of the ledger.

Gov. Cuomo’s magnanimity cannot be questioned though there will be many who attempt to rationalize his assistance as self-serving. An expected response from detractors and naysayers of political wankers who have nothing more than a need to pontificate in one direction or another.

What is pertinent is for the City of Yonkers to recognize that the eventual and final infusion of funding to meet the needs of the Yonkers Public School District be conducted in a forthright and honest manner. Has the Yonkers Board of Education (YBoE) expunged the 170 vacant positions from its payroll—positions lost through either attrition, retirement or death of an employee. Will Finance Commissioner Liszewski attest to a list of truly vacant positions? Further, where do the funds for these positions appearing in the Executive Budget? Yonkers capacity to cheat their way to the bank is legendary and must not be permitted. Every aspect of this largesse must be validated. Anything less than honest conduct by anyone must be met with arrest and eventual legal incarceration.

Gov. Cuomo’s bailout of the City of Yonkers (CoY) is an opportunity to study the demands and requirements of a city that continues to beg with cup in hand for funds from Albany when those in the know have known of the legacy of corruption that has consumed Yonkers of better days by its own doing. 

From one administration after another, going back 50 some years, the City of Yonkers (CoY) became an employment agency that would only serve the “friends and family” network. In time, in order to garner so-called loyalty from the unions, one administration after the other increased salaries that were unsustainable. Yonkers City Hall was logically tasked to increase its revenue stream to meet the impending and growing financial burden. Yet one administration after the other pivoted from their responsibility. Instead, they used their administrative governance for employing the love interests of existing employees and the riff-raff that often defined the “friends and family” network. Federal and State grant funds designated for one purpose were many times used for purposes to which it was not intended, such as allowing for pension padding, quid-pro-quo, false arrests and incarcerations, and so much more. The list is vile and seemingly endless. Yonkers Inspector General Brendan McGrath, Esq., is mum on all such concerns yet the Office of Inspector General costs the taxpayers short of $1 million per annum. Even the Yonkers Board of Ethics, required by the Yonkers City Charter to meet at minimum every 3 months to sustain its integrity as functioning Board of Ethics has not met for over a year. Outrageous.

Lest anyone forget, CoY’s legacy of corruption and fiscal mismanagement has all been accomplished under a veil of silence, cover-up, and the subterfuge now known as the antics of  “denial, denial, denial”.

CoY has long fostered a culture of “pay to play” and a false narrative for public consumption, and even among those in higher office. This deceit was meant to keep those beyond the borders of Yonkers in the dark. The Westchester County Executive, the New York State Legislature, the Office of the Governor, as well as U.S. Congressmembers and Senators distanced from knowing the shenanigans afoot.

The reader you may inquire why the history is presented though any attempt to suggest it is histrionics is in fact impertinent and off the mark. This Hezitorial suggests it is relevant and pertinent. This why…

How much longer can “hope” be the elixir required for change?Yonkers puppet masters who have maintained their hold on Yonkersites for decades continue rape and pillage the city they assert to serve yet conduct has proven otherwise. Yonkers’ excesses have been revealed in varying degrees by the debauched greed of those in office. The selective permissions granted one media outlet over another is indicative of the thin-skinned control freaks that are fearful of transparency, delighting instead to an insulated, opaque world they control. The most recent Mayoral Administrations, that of John Spencer, Phil Amicone, and now Mike Spano, 22 plus years in office collectively are each responsible for this most recent outcome, though it is well-known to have grown by any measure to be a calamity of purpose, failed best practice, and graft. And yes, all under the guise of a vision that continues to be nothing more that a mirage. In CoY, even “hope” is dead.

Gov. Cuomo’s gallop to save CoY must be the last time Yonkers is saved from its own undoing. Before the final budget proposal is presented for adoption sometime this next week, the entire City Councilmembers, the elected and appointed members of the Office of the Mayor of Yonkers must attest to their studying, deducing, defining, and instituting remedies to the travails they have historically permitted to linger all these decades. Whether it was Yonkers not getting its so called “fair” share of funding from Washington, D.C., Albany, White Plains, and from within its own borders, “hope” is deficient as remedy of any kind. Remedy can only be constructed by open discourse that is intentioned toward a plan for remedy of the travails that have been permitted to assault and suffocate Yonkers all these years.

Yonkers Tribune trusts the words, integrity,  promises, and deeds  made by Hon. Andrew Cuomo. At issue for all Yonkersites is whether they can trust our elected and appointed officials to study the issues publicly so as to garner as much input and know-how from all who will eventually contribute toward the challenges of remediation our collective self-centered milieu has yet to wrestle. And the discourse must be inclusive of all Yonkersites. 

Without a promissory note from those noted above, Yonkers does not deserve even a dime. Spending the money has been too easy in Yonkers. What is required now planning and prudent fiscal conduct.

An ancillary aspect of Gov. Cuomo’s promise to fill the funding needs of the YBoE must be commensurate purpose and conduct of governance from Yonkers City Hall’s Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano has been responsible for a week shy of seeing 6 budgets approved under his failed guidance, aided and abetted by tenured members of the Yonkers City Council, that is, Corazón Pineda-Isaac (D-District 2), Michael Sabatino (D-District 3), presently Majority Leader, and Michael Breen (R-District 5), presently Minority Leader. 

Nick DeSantis, auditor for the Yonkers Board of Education and for the City of Yonkers has failed to warn the the City of Yonkers of its impending doom, even while scrutiny of this budget has taken place, his language has been unclear with respect to the dire straits that confront the “City on the Hill” where nothing is on the level. DeSantis should be fired for not being forthright with Yonkersites. Whether his intent was to maintain hold of his contractual agreement with the YBoE and CoY, or whether he was told to maintain his silence is irrelevant. When he addressed the Yonkers City Council in televised session to those viewing the proceedings, he failed to give heed to Yonkers taxpayers of the plight facing them. Ouch! He has been conducting himself in this manner for years. Another “friends and family” member.

Will the City of Yonkers cease and desist from being the employment agency it has grown to be in serving the select few known as the “family and friends” network? Will that be formally written and ascribed by both the office holders of the Executive and Legislative Branches? Yonkers Tribune suggests this take place before Gov. Cuomo ameliorates the state of fiscal affairs at the YBoE.

The conduct by Yonkers Police Benevolent Association President Det. Keith Olson must be relieved his stipend as union leader for having squandered the taxpayers’ funds by calling for job actions that cost CoY $3 million plus this year alone.

Benefit allowances for cars, insurance for those cars, reduced gasoline costs for those who receive such benefits must be taken away. Those very vehicles must be sold, the insurance costs saved, and the purchase for gasoline for those getting those benefits must come to a halt. They are unaffordable and undeserving. Those that have crashed one vehicle after the other should be fined and costs recovered. 

The recent stipend afforded Yonkers Board of Education Trustee Rev. Steve Lopez must come to a halt. The position is a voluntary one. If Rev. Lopez was incapable of financially conducting the responsibilities he chose to accept as a volunteer, he must step down and he must not be allowed further financial gain.

The “no-show” jobs, and those hired for one purpose, but are instead fake positions that find such “employees” working on one political campaign or another must stop. Why should taxpayers who mat not be supportive of one political aspirant or another pay for such undisclosed operatives. This too must end.

Yonkers is a swamp. It must be emptied, dried, and cemented from ever being resuscitated in any fashion.

Lastly, but, most importantly, thank you Gov. Andrew Cuomo for your sensitivity, and kindness to Yonkers student population who have suffered the plight and challenges of school infrastructure that has been permitted to deteriorate due to lack of upkeep: the lead that courses through the water pipes of the Yonkers Public Schools, and the asbestos to which the YPS claim were never used, and the molds that are consuming the walls within many of the schools.

The takeaway: Thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you, again Gov. Cuomo! Without your helping hand, Yonkers would not be able to get out of its own way.

FYI … Read the June 1, 2018th Hezitorial

Governor Andrew Cuomo, in the Guise of a Knight in Shining Armour to Magnanimously Lift Yonkers From the Doom of Its Making By HEZI ARIS

eHeziNew York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to Fill the Fiscal Shortfall of the Yonkers Public School District

Comments 15

  1. Cuomo is bailing out the CoY!!! So, who is going to bail out NYS? NYS is on a collision course with its own financial crises, and Albany’s accounting practices, under the current regime, appear to be at the wheel.
    According to a recently posted article on the Tribune, which is titled Ballooning budget gaps spell trouble for New York, NYS is digging itself into a very deep hole. The article stated the Empire Center’s, “latest budget update puts next year’s gap at $4 billion, up by $500 million… since February… It’s even worse the following years: Gaps for FY 2021 and FY 2022 swelled from just over $5 billion in February’s projections to about $7 billion each in this month.”
    Doesn’t everyone remember 2008, the Great Recession? Speaking in broader terms, the aforementioned article states, “Goldman Sachs economists note the current expansion is already 95 months old, the third-longest since 1854, and warn that the “medium-term risk of a recession” is growing.”
    The same article gives New Yorkers the ominous warning that, “Albany’s failure to sock away funds and control spending is so foolish. With future-year gaps now ballooning quickly, New York is headed for trouble.”
    So, would someone please explain how the Yonkers’ school system bailout will benefit the city in the long run? It is obvious that the Tappan Zee Bridge’s kid is looking for CoY votes, and maybe the support of the Yonkers’ teachers union, in a Presidential run, but what will happen to New York State, and the residents of one of the State’s largest cities, if the State goes belly up before then?
    Does Cuomo appear to have been swapping enough spit with the Donald lately, and will the Governor, hat in hand, be welcomed with open arms in DC, when he goes looking for his bowl of soup?

  2. Let’s have a non-political, non-obliged real NYC accounting firm do a complete audit of the City if Yonkers ASAP! All the big publicly held corporations do this annually….so why not Yonkers? Why isn’t overtime equally distributed among those qualified to perform the work? Why does overtime pay count towards figuring a NYS Pension? Put the OT into a 403(b) and have Yonkers match a portion of it, like private industry. Let’s get real world here folks!

  3. Disband the fire dept, all hide out on nepperhan, if that, and PROMOTE each other, meanwhile, commissioner is double dipping nys thanks to a WAIVER, wink, wink…….then they have a cone-headed chief that hasn’t lived in yo in many years, but claims to care about yonkers…….give me a break.

    1. Just saw that 14b John Mueller dressed in his psych pants. John did you tell the committee how you refused your own transfer and how you and Keith the fat man set up civilians and cops?

  4. Nepotism, Corruption and Mismanagement inside City Hall (going back to Sneaky Spencer, Phil Amiclown, and now Sir Lancelot Spano) AND inside the YPD (ie: Deputy Dawg Olsen), YFD (ie: Chief Mr. Clean, Mr. Magoo and the legacy of the Fitzpatrick family), DPW (Can-Can the Garbage Man Tom Meier), and the Board of Education (Quiz Master ‎Ed Quezada, “Shady” Pat Puleo, and now Samantha Rosado-Ciriello). Will the madness ever stop.

    Word has it that Mayor Spano is going to invest in getting a Wrestling Ring installed inside the City Council Chamber, so that Chief Mr. Clean can get his rematch against LA Law’s Mike Khader.

    Everyone in our city are totally embarrassed over the conduct of individual who are supposed to be our among those leaders in our city (such as John Flynn, aka – Chief Mr. Clean), who act like selfish idiots rather than rational professionals.

    Sad – Sad – Sad

  5. What was just displayed is not over.
    Not over by a long shot.
    My taxes are being used by municipal insiders for their personal
    Gov Cuomo step down !
    You are not fit to govern. You are allowing this open corruption to
    continue unbridled .
    President Trump , Cuomo wants to be our next president !
    He cannot even manage New York State !
    Please bring in the Federals and show this p**z how its done !

  6. A United States Federal Investigation NOW !
    “Gov Cuomo just an enabler ”
    Senator Schumer you must have the Federal Government come into
    Yonkers immediately.
    Fire Local 628 representative DeSousa called Yonkers a text book study
    in corruption.
    What kind of open criminal syndicate is Yonkers ?
    Fire representative DeSousa has to know.
    He is involved (as a Local representative) in Yonkers grime.
    His statements both moved me and insulted me as a Yonkers
    tax payer and resident.
    I feel like a hostage to this outrage.
    As a Tax Payer I demand a Federal Investigation !
    Lets not let the state or local scum investigate itself.
    Sen Schumer where are you on this ?

  7. Just moved to those new waterfront apartments and saw a young couple moving out. They wished me good luck and give me a couple of tips. They said shop during the day time and get into your apartment before dark and if you don’t mind seeing sleeping bums, they said their dog like the smell of urine. They also said they were moving to Tarrytown.

  8. Funny how they waste money in this political swamp. Steve Lopez is a Spano suck ass who gets a stipend of $15,000 to do what? He is a political hack with no experience in education at all. He and other board members should be the first to give back their hard earned political cash before the unions.

    1. Hezi shame on you that you are unable to see thru Cuomo and that all his doing for Yonkers is positioning himself for votes in 2020 nothing more nothing less-its all about the votes not the well-being of Yonkers.

      1. I would ‘t even consider you are wrong. Your deduction is very logical. Even so, I suggest he affording Yonkers a lifeline will give the Yonkers Public School District to function for anoter year and hopefully the year will be well spent planning for a budget that will serve CoY. There is a lot of blame to go around. time to fix the financial outcome. It can be done.

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