The Smoke & Mirrors Hezitorial
Yonkers Special City Council Meeting Convened to Vote Today on Sending Albany an Unexplained Home Rule Message
Yonkers City Hall Continues to Hire “Family and Friends” Before a Balanced Budget Has Been Adopted
Yonkers City Hall Desperate to Get Give Backs from Unions But Some Union Officials Claim that Issue Was Not Brought Up by Gov. Cuomo’s Representative at a Midtown Location Today or the Like Meeting Held Yesterday
Yonkers Mayor Spano Demonizes Unions – Unions Have No Interest to Ameliorate Mayor Spano’s Failed Stewardship of Yonkers City Coffers
YONKERS, NY — June 8, 2018 — Yonkers’s reality is the antithesis of the chatter that is shared among the “knowing” insiders, and those deluded by their desire to believe the “spin” meant to be consumed by those kept out of the loop.
Yonkers City Hall has erected controls over its employees that is not dissimilar from those engaged in Romania before the overthrow of Nicolae Ceaușescu, general secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989. The secret service of the communist regime, named “Securitate”, watched everybody’s moves and punished everyone and everything they considered to be a threat to their regime. It seems almost everyone would seek to win favor with the regime by reaching out to the “Securitate” with truth or innuendo. Yonkers, while not as backward or draconian as Romania was then, the city of Yonkers has cajoled Yonkersites to become acolytes to the Mike Spano Administration, that is, if they want to get ahead in a city where the number one employer is Yonkers City Hall and the department the Yonkers Board of Education. The increased hiring and employment of people in positions of no-show, and little-show employment have consumed the taxpayers’ ability to sustain the patronage mill that serves Mayor Mike Spano’s Administration more effectively than those that preceded his accession to mayor. Mayor Mike Spano bought loyalty with the taxpayer’s money. He also bought “naysayers” that challenged and maligned the facts as they were and are, so as to win even greater favor from the “powers” that be. Alas, the gravy train has come to a screeching halt because the financial capacity Yonkers City Hall had for its first six years in office turned Yonkers Canty Hall into an employment office, using its influence to employ and/or fire, to coerce landlords to house “favored” employees in dwellings the landlords owned at no cost to the “new” tenant or at reduced rates that can only be defined as “quid pro quo”. An illegal practice by any legal measure or definition.
Yonkers Police Benevolent Association President Detective Keith Olson moved into his three-bedroom waterfront apartment only this week. His sister, Kelly Chiarella, likewise moved into the same building. Are they each paying market rate? Yonkers Tribune has learned they each do not! Are they paying anything at all? Why did Yonkers Department of Public Works clean out the “filthy” apartment Olson used to reside in and moved Olson’s belongs to his new Yonkers waterfront residence? Does Yonkers DPW get paid overtime to take care of Yonkers City Hall’s favorite union leader? Why is Yonkers City Hall so concerned about Yonkers PBA Pres. Det. Olson and his sister, Yonkers Department of the Aging Director Kelly Chiarella?
With respect to Olson, Yonkers City Hall has demanded Olson deliver additional “giveback” to Yonkers City Hall by reducing the very contracts negotiated with them by Mayor Spano’s cousin Joe Spano. Joe Spano was never elected to any office at Yonkers City Hall and he was not appointed to a position of any kind at Yonkers City Hall. All the unions were forced to “negotiate” with Joe Spano, though they need not have. The unions suffered the “high handed” tactics of Joe Spano. They eventually signed on the dotted line. Now, months later, despite City Hall believing they had outsmarted the unions individually and collectively, gloated over the signed agreements. Now Yonkers City Hall wants “give back” from the Yonkers PBA and the Yonkers Captains, Lieutenants, and Sergeants Association (CLSA). This telling thereby begs the questions how could the most recent negotiations with both the Yonkers PBA and CLSA even have been considered prudent when first proposed by Joe Spano? How could Yonkers Commissioner of Finance John Liszewski, as well as Auditor Nick DeSantis not have extrapolated a budget not prone to failure as it has presently proven itself to be. It is becoming more and more plausible and believable that when Finance Commissioner Liszewski was questioned and challenged by Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader during the budget hearings that Commissioner Liszewski’s response, was succinct and the the point. Liszewski noted he was only Finance Commissioner and NOT the Executive, referring to the Executive Branch of government, and specifically Mayor Mike Spano, rings true in hindsight.
Then there is the other aspect of the “intended deal” between Mayor Mike Spano and PBA President Det. Olson. When Olson delivers the “giveback” demanded by Mayor Mike Spano from the PBA and CLSA, Olson’s BFF (Best Friend Forever) Yonkers Police Chief John Mueller will be made the next Yonkers Police Commissioner and present PC Chuck Gardner will be forced to step down.
Olson’s conduct and the deal proposed to him reveals that Olson, City Hall’s on again, off again, and on again “bitch” is being used, that is toyed with in order to pressure the other unions to give back so as to relieve the financial quagmire revealed due to City Hall’s lack of fiscal discipline and constraint. While Finance Commissioner Liszewski must acquiesce to Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano’s fiscal micro management, why has Auditor Nick DeSantis not publicly divulged the looming financial catastrophe presently undermining the City of Yonkers (CoY) ability to survive? DeSantis has a contractual agreement at the Yonkers Board of Education (YBoE), a City of Yonkers department, and a separate contractual agreement with the City of Yonkers to audit CoY’s fiscal health. Why has he been silent?
“Overtime” has become a bad word in CoY, as if to imply that the unions have the capacity to commandeer OT. To some extent, this is correct, but in other respects it is not. Control of OT is a managerial responsibility. It can be managed by the likes of Police Commissioner Charles Gardner, Fire Commissioner Robert Sweeney, and Department of Public Works Commissioner Thomas Meier. Were each department head disallow OT, the cycle of pension padding afforded those ready to retire would be an issue that would be relieved over a two-year time frame by not giving OT to the “chosen”. When OT is required, it should be equitably disbursed by giving the required OT to one person, then the next, and the next, and so; one until each person of any specific department is given the opportunity to get overtime. It is an equitable distribution of OT for everyone. But let no one forget that OT must be apportioned only when life and limb must be saved. Everything else can wait.
Yonkers Tribune has heard that taxes may rise to a new high of 8 percent. Ouch!
The Yonkers Board of Education can begin saving at minimum $16 – $18 million in FY 2018 – 2019 and $20 – $22 million in FY 2019 – 2020 and every year thereafter. Those savings can be placed into a trust fund to grow CoY’s fiscal capacity to resuscitate an old and dilapidated infrastructures, and so much more.
Developing Yonkers transportation and tourist appeal is doable by employing standards understood today that will continue to survive into a future in which its evolution is embellished over time and not diminished or outmoded by time and technological advancement.
While many will scowl at the thought, Yonkers City Hall’s request for approval of private and commercial reassessment is demanded more than ever, yet the Yonkers City Councilmembership of seven have already decided the proposal will not win their approval.
Why should anyone in Yonkers acquiesce to giving Yonkers City Hall a dime? CoY should only consider making changes if legislation that carries stipulated penalties if not adhered to, are made part of any agreement between all parties involved. Pension padding must not to be permitted, it must be written into law, and the standards must be ascribed by all parties concerned and validated and administered by higher office with the bite to incarcerate when needed.
Why are we at a stalemate at this juncture? One is the petition presented by the Yonkers PTA asking parents/guardians to demand Gov. Andrew Cuomo release $16.9 million in funds to the Yonkers Public School District. Considering that the Yonkers Board of Education Board of Trustees approved the firing of 251 people from the Yonkers Public School District, and that 175 positions were known to be vacant due to retirement, employment elsewhere or death, that means that only 76 people could lose their employment. Assuming each of the 76 people was earning $100,000 each, that means that $7.6 million and not $16.9 million is the shortfall. The difference between the two figures is $9.3 million. How did the Yonkers PTA come up with this $16.9 million figure? The only logically conclusion is that it was deduced and defined by Yonkers City Hall. It also upset Gov. Cuomo.
A person representing Gov. Cuomo was given the contact information of all of Yonkers union leadership hierarchies. Each was invited to an audience with Gov. Cuomo’s representative. Yonkers Tribune has yet to learn the gist of all Th at transpired.
The Special Yonkers City Council meeting intended to be convened today was moved into a state of recess”. That means that when the budget is scrutinized by all who have access to it is deemed over and complete, Yonkersites will not be required to receive 24-hours advance notice of such a gathering. Majority Leader Michael Sabatino’s Proposal was seconded by Minority Leader Mike Breen. The proposal was unanimously adopted without objection. The “conduct” of the vote is dismissive of the People’s right to know!
More as it is learned by the Yonkers Tribune.