Yonkers City Council President Khader’s Response to President Rev. Lopez Regarding Yesterday’s Press Conference

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Yonkers Board of Education Letter  Addressing Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader By Yonkers Board of Education Trustee President Rev. Steve Lopez Herein

Dear Rev. Lopez,

MIke Khader, Esq., is Yonkers City Council President.

YONKERS, NY — September 7, 2018 — I am in receipt of your letter regarding the press conference held on the steps outside of the Enrico Fermi School on the afternoon of September 6th, 2018. Although I very much appreciate and echo your call for the City Council, Board of Trustees, the Superintendent of Schools, the Mayor, and our State delegation to work together to address the challenges facing Yonkers Public Schools, I must strongly dispute your assertion that my call for the development and implementation of an extreme weather plan was “grandstanding.”

As I hope you heard in my remarks to the press, I saluted Superintendent Quezada and the Central Office’s response to the extreme heat of Thursday, September 6th, as well as hailed the remarkable recent achievements of Yonkers Public Schools, including the significant rise in graduation rates over the past five years. Although I am proud of the work of our students, teachers, administrators, and staff, I am unwilling and unable to turn a blind eye to the public outcry that my office received the morning of Thursday, September 6th from both parents and staff regarding the heat and potentially unsafe conditions for our students. If being responsive to one’s constituents and putting our children’s safety first is “grandstanding,” I make no apologies. It has been, and will continue to be my practice to use the platform granted to me by public office to amplify and seek to address the concerns of my constituents, especially when the safety and welfare of our children are at stake.
As I am sure you are aware, the Yonkers Public Schools Emergency Management Plan has no stated policies for extreme heat such as we experienced on September 6th, heat which drove neighboring school districts to enact early release times. Although I salute the efforts undertaken by the Central Office to provide relief to the students and teachers suffering in the extreme heat, I believe that the development of an official policy for such conditions is in our long term interests, and would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the Superintendent, Board of Trustees, parents, teachers and students to develop one.

I am pleased that you acknowledged the coming budget shortfall faced by Yonkers Public Schools. As I am sure you are aware, the City of Yonkers approved a $25 million increase in budget appropriations for the Board of Education for “maintenance of effort” in the last budget, despite an otherwise challenging budget season on both the school and municipal sides. This demonstrates a unanimous commitment on the part of the City Council to the mission of Yonkers Public Schools, however, accountability cannot and should not be deflected at the expense of our students. As I am sure you are aware, I personally have actively sought to collaborate with the Board of Education on a variety of issues, from the formation of a Children With Special Needs Advisory Board, to joining the Board of Trustees and other officials in lobbying trips to Albany to appeal for additional funding from the State. My office has drafted resolutions and sought testimony from Yonkers Public Schools officials including yourself on a variety of matters intended to increase dialogue and collaboration between the City Council and the Board of Education. I look forward to hearing your solutions in the future as to how we can further and sustain the achievements of Yonkers Public Schools in the years to come, however, will not silence the concerns of my constituents as they relate to Yonkers Public Schools.

What unites us, from the City Council, to the Administration, to Yonkers Public Schools, is a shared desire to see our teachers and students be successful. Let us keep that in mind as we approach the challenges ahead.

Michael Khader, City Council President

cc. Mayor Mike Spano, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin Quezada, Members of the City Council

# # # # #

September 7, 2018

Mike Khader, President City Council

City Hall

Yonkers, NY 10701

Dear President Khader,

Your actions yesterday, holding a press conference in front of a school on the first day of instruction, “about lack of proper air conditioning in multiple Yonkers Public School buildings,” put the Board of Education Trustees and the citizens of the City of Yonkers on notice that you are unwilling to work collaboratively with the Yonkers Public Schools. I sincerely hope that this was not your intent.

As you know, our city more than ever needs their City Council to work hand-in-hand with the Trustees, Superintendent of Schools, Mayor and our State delegation for your public schools. Looming heavy before us is the potential for a $60 million shortfall for the 2019-2020 school budget. We must have a unified voice as we seek both short and long-term solutions to continue the significant progress made over the past five years by our students, educators, administrators and families of the Yonkers Public Schools.

In the future, rather than grandstanding without first seeking proper information, please make a sincere effort to reach out to us. We welcome your questions and concerns on behalf of our citizenry. Yesterday, was extraordinarily hot, one (1) day out of 180 days of instruction. The Superintendent of Schools did prepare our schools to ensure that the health and safety of our students and staff was the top priority.

Our building administrators with the support of Central Office magnificently handled comforting our children on their first day, providing additional water, indoor recess and monitoring everyone throughout the day. The Trustees applaud their work. Yesterday, our students were happy, eager and engaged on their first day of school; let us find ways to celebrate that enthusiasm.

Yes, your public schools need repairs and upgrades. The City Council controls the City of Yonkers budget. Join our advocacy to change the State foundation aid formula to address Yonkers students’ needs, provide additional dollars in the City’s budget and work collaboratively with us and the Mayor to grow the campaign to Rebuild Yonkers Schools. Our united voices have the greatest potential to produce long-term sustainable solutions for the Yonkers Public Schools and the future of our city.

/s/ Rev. Steve Lopez, President

eHeziYonkers City Council President Khader’s Response to President Rev. Lopez Regarding Yesterday’s Press Conference

Comments 43

  1. It’s obvious that the Khader family is in damage control mode since Mike is hiring family, his staff is double dipping, and he voted for the biggest tax increase in Yonkers history, while John’s wife is cashing in with her new $50,000 salary when she was only making a few hundred dollars a few years ago. All of my neighbors and friends who voted for Mike Khader have since reevaluated their views of him and will not vote for him again.

    As for the issue of hot classrooms, it’s a non-issue. This is just more political theater and grandstanding, something Mike Khader does quite well. He ignores more substantive and pressing concerns, such as the fact that teachers have to host fundraisers in order to purchase supplies for their students while the head of YPS has an eye-watering salary and compensation package as someone else noted.

    And whoever the person or people posting about Khader’s 6.2% increase is (or are), they’re right. As a candidate, Khader campaigned against high taxes, criticizing his opponent endlessly on the point. He then turned around and approved an unprecedented tax increase and praised the mayor, the very two things he stood against during his campaign. Khader is in a position of leadership, but for the majority of his term he has been led, primarily by his own family interests and by Spano. Some are even suggesting that he and his brother are just opportunistic lackeys of the mayor, and everything I’ve seen so far from the CCP and MPAC reinforces this view.

    1. Clearly you were not and will never be a Khader supporter- which is ok. You are entitled to your position and opinion. Just don’t try to include your imaginary neighbors in that position. Then it’s called fake news.

      Next, the Yonkers teachers are amongst the highest paid. So what you call a fundraising for school supplies, is not outrageous. All teachers do the same. It provides a good learning experience for the students. Best of all, it’s tax deductible.

      John Khader’s wife- I don’t see the relationship between mike Khader being a council president and her gettting a job. If that’s the case, list all of the Dominican mistresses in Quezada’s office.

      6.2%- Nick Spano and little Mikey own the 6.2% tax increase. If you have a better solution than the tax increase, please let’s all here because I hear there is a genius in Yonkers that will solve the budget problem without layoffs or tax increase. Save the day and tell us your secret!

      The End!

      1. With Hezi’s recent story about Khader family hires and John gutless disappearance from Hezi’s radio program, I can understand why the Khader circle is defensive. Notice a pattern here? Mike Khader didn’t have the ball$ to stand up to Spano and his budget and John Khader didn’t have the ball$ to defend himself after Hezi’s story. Guess Hezi’s reporting was on the mark.

        The new normal in Yonkers seems to be teachers making six-figure salaries but holding fundraisers because their students don’t have textbooks or basic school supplies. And CCP Mike Khader talks about hot classrooms while Quezada makes $265,000 each year and his new contract, which runs until Jan. 31, 2023, includes:

        – Health insurance for Quezada and his family and a $500,000 life insurance policy
        – Use of a district vehicle and free gas
        – A $10,000 yearly contribution by the district to Quezada’s tax-sheltered annuity
        30 vacation days
        – 285 days of accumulated sick leave that he previously earned and 15 additional sick days a year as of July 1. He may accumulate up to 300 sick days and if he retires into the state retirement system he’ll be eligible to cash out up to 300 sick days at $300 a day.

        You don’t need to be Alan Greenspan to fix Yonkers. The problem is obvious: too little money coming in and too much going out to outrageous salaries and no-show jobs. Salary cuts and layoffs are the order of the day, but the CCP isn’t up to the task. I voted for the man as did many of my friends and other homeowners in the area. Thanks to what we’ve seen and what Hezi has reported, we won’t make that mistake twice, though.

        And then there’s the projected $90 million Yonkers budget deficit for 2019. Maybe Yonkers can hold a big fundraiser. Or raise taxes.

        What a $hit$how.

  2. Khader tells us our taxes are too high, then raises our taxes. Khader criticizes the underfunding of our schools, but doesn’t say a word about Quezada’s extreme salary and compensation package (for those that don’t know, Google it). The guy is clueless.

    1. Clearly it’s the same guy going with the 6.2 rant. The mayor asked for it to raise the taxes And 6 other council members voted for it.

      Would you rather see 200 families suffer?
      No one on Yonkers realizes that taxes went up. My mortgage didn’t even go up.

      Take it easy pal.

      1. You can’t pick and choose the truth. There are 6 other members that said yes. Why aren’t you mentioning them. I don’t care about Khader or politics. I just like to present the issue as is.

        For you to go on ever story and post a 6.2 and associate it with only one of the council is pathetic. What a cheap shot!

        Get your facts straight.

        1. Please do tell! Tell WHO made them all vote YES! We are not stupid! They were told! It was political suicide for Merante and Rubbo. So, who gave the order? Do tell! Annabi went to jail for less! They all should go to jail for selling out the voters! That is illegal not to mention immoral!

        2. Obessed with the truth-the facts are straight-Khader voted for a 6.2% tax increase which also caused Yonkers resident’s to lose their STAR REBATE -which all 7 cowards failed to tell the resident’s when they passed the increase-thats the facts jack.

          1. Breaking the 2% tax cap doesn’t make the resident lose the star rebate. However, the tax freeeze credit will be lost. Those are two different credits. Please don’t mix them up. The tax freeze credit is very minimal (I have never qualified for it). You have to make below a really low income threshold and 10 kids!

            Khader did vote for the budget yes so did the other 6 councils. There was no better choice than to vote for it.

            You either vote for the tax increase and you get tortured on Yonkerd Tribune
            You vote no and you get tortured by the union leaders, 200 families will suffer, services will be cute, other 6 councils will gang against you and strip your power and funding away.

            There was no better choice!

    2. The City is a mess. You have fat corrupt guys running the City and Mayor Nick Spano raised the taxes like everything else. The BOE is a dumping ground for guys like Steve Lopez who is a Spano hack making $ 15, 000 to a school district that has drastically dropped in State scores.

  3. So Lopez referred to Yonkers schools as “Your Schools”. To me, that mean he distancing himself from the schools and Yonkers! So what the hell are you doing on the Board!

    I think the way OUR schools are governed needs a complete overhaul.

    The first step is to dismantle the Board of Trustees.

    The Second step is strip the superintendent of any powers. His power should be strictly educational.

    Then we will all see a slow but improving change.

    The enemy is within- the ones that refer to OUR schools as YOUR schools

  4. The dictionary meaning of Reverend is:
    “used as a title or form of address to members of the clergy”

    The act done by Mr. Lopez negates the title he holds.

    I am dropping the Rev title and will address him as Mr. Lopez.

    Mr. Lopez, we know you work for NYC Education Department. However, you also have a responsibility for the schools in Yonkers. Writing letters is not one of them.

    Look out for kid!!!!!

  5. Lopez can’t come up with the letter idea on his own. Someone gased him up.

    I am really disappointed at Lopez. Instead of agreeing that we have a problem, he writes a letter and sends it to the media demonizing the person who said “we have a problem”.

    I respectfully request Lopez to step down.

  6. City Hall will be lit In honor of a kid that died; not all kids that died, but the one that is is a member of the “family and friends network” with the Spanos. We have fourteen months to get rid of the like of the Spanos and all those part of the “family and friends network”! I will say a prayer to honor that boy. Because of his death, his family has had their five minutes of fame. All his brothers got jobs. I can assure you that the next Mayor will not be so gracious especially if he knows the truth about that family!

    1. If you want the clock lit for someone or something then do the request form online like everyone has done instead of making comments about things and people you don’t know anything about!

      1. Please! So, sick of them front and center and all their fraud with the money they raise. Please give Your advice as to how to get three jobs for my family members like they did? I don’t think it would be hanging out at the Dew Drop doing the things they did! Lol What’s next a statue next to the river they dug up? Hard working people are over it!

  7. So Lopez comes out to say Khader is a grandstander…… ummm let me think who said that word. Yea I got it. Trump used this word about the FBI director.

    Only bullies use this word to prevent the truth from coming out. Who cares if you are embarrassed. Step down and let someone else do the job.

    What a great example Lopez is giving to our kids!

  8. Can we get a dollar amount of how much money the Yonkers Board of Education wastes on food orders from Quezada’s restaurant on McLean Ave?

    Is that what keeps Lopez from doing his job? Why is it Lopez is the one who came out with the letter? The board has no executive responsibility. Unless Lopez has something to lose.

    Can we have Yonkers IG investigate Lopez and Quezada? I forgot that the Yonkers IG is a waste

  9. With this letter, Lopez exposed himself to everyone that he basically has done nothing for our kids.

    Better yet, he exposed that he is part of the Quezada crew.

    Why did Quezada get a 5 year contract? 300k a year. Maybe we should call him President Quezada. Even the governor of NY doesn’t make that much.

  10. We the parents of students in Yonkers schools support Khader for feeling the pain of our children and their teachers.

    We the parents of students in Yonkers feel betrayed by the Schools Board of Trustees

    We the parents of students in Yonkers are sick of Quezada and his games.

    We the parents of students in Yonkers will organize a peaceful walk for our kids and advocate for replacing the schools board with a department of education.

    Thank you Khader.

  11. Lopez and Quezada:

    Changing a school name doesn’t make it a new school! So when you changed the name of Cedar Knolls school to Chavez school the conditions of the school didn’t change. It’s the same old school.

    How about Quezada and Lopez do real work instead of starting to change the name of the schools.

    They have nothing else to do other than writing letters and changing names of the schools!

    Why do we even need a board of trustees! We are all thinking!

  12. Lopez wrote in his letter that Khader embarrassed him.

    We should know that whenever someone is embarrassed that means they have something to hide or they are not doing as well as they can or both. I think this is applicable to both Lopez and Quezada.

    How about you strive to do a better job so that you need not be embarrassed?

    Embarrassed Lopez and crooked Quezada!!!! Both not doing their jobs.

  13. Quezada and Lopez are both cowards. Where were they when the schools had the $55 million budget fall.

    We still didn’t forget. So don’t come out and start writing letters when this was originally your fault.

    The school board of trustees are privileged to get benefits and voting whatever Quezada wants.

    We can bombard your office with letter. Go do your job Rev Lopez she shame on you. You will go down in history as the one who deprived the students of Yonkers of decent schools.

  14. Spano doesn’t care. It’s his last year in office. The last thing he cares about is the schools and our kids.

    We need a real leader in city hall.

  15. Why didn’t the Mayor come out and addressed the issue? Why is he hiding?

    My son is sweating in school and the mayor is in his throne. He waits for Khader to come and talk about this issue!

    What learning environment the Mayor and the superintendent are creating for our kids? Cut your salaries and make the schools suitable for education.

    I hope Khader runs for mayor and fox the school problems.

  16. For the President of the Board of Trustees to come out and attack the person that’s highlighting a problem to the public and state, he must be stupid, with all due respect. That makes me think that Quezada is behind that letter.

    Quezada the gangaster and that’s the way he runs the schools. Every superintendent leaves our school disgracefully and Quezada won’t be any difference.

    Quezada lives in Rocklsnd county and gets free bagels for life because he granted Rockdnd Bagel a contract for the schools. Don’t take my word for it. Check out the Eockdnd Bagel Truch every morning risking around in our city.

    Therefore Quezada cares less about Yonkers and the Schools in Yonkers.

    As long as he has his ladies in his office, most of which do their nails during work hours, and he gets his 300k gig, he is good.

    He lets stupid Lopez do the dirty work. Keep in mind, Lopez wasn’t even the author of that letter.

    1. Hezi,
      Can you please post the letter that Lopez sent to Khader?

      It will show that this BOE administrator is just another political hack defending the status quo. The hypocrisy to ask for more money to squander when there is zero accountability for what is happening with the $600 million already funding Yonkers schools.

      Mismanagement, incompetency and nepotism is rampant at BOE. Citizens of Yonkers, taxpayers, parents, teachers MUST demand change and accountability.

      Think we need an elected school board instead of these appointed self-serving figure heads and empty suits!

  17. I am glad to see the person I voted for, stands for shad he believes in. It’s about time domes stands firmly for our kids in the falling schools.

    The superintendent gets paid 300k with a luxurious office our kids are sweating in schools that are falling apart. And the superintendent unleashed his dog? Mr. Lopez to attack the person who stands up for our kids. What a shame.

    Maybe we should look into Mr. Lopez’s financial and see what favors he has been receiving. Corruption at its height!

  18. Khader is always chewing on his word salads and yet never seems to lose any weight. He talks about developing a plan for extreme heat. Really? That’s the priority right now? Has he driven anywhere in Yonkers? I’ve seen better roads on tour in Afghanistan. No comment about the Khader family hires? And what about the recent arrests for gang activity? Is Yonkers safe? Any thoughts on why Yonkers has the highest paid public servants in the state? Any idea where the city is going to get the millions it needs to cover next year’s budget? Maybe he can write a letter and repeat the words “dialogue” and “collaboration” and the money will just magically appear. Or just raise our taxes another 6.2%. Is this guy playing with a full deck?

    1. Well, if the Mayor or his City Council President had a real education they might have been able to write that comment themselves! What does Khader who just took office have to do with the roads? Isn’t it your wonderful Mayor that had declared Yonkers the second safest city? Yonkers has the highest paid public servants because of the CORRUPTION! The million could come from deleting the no show jobs and all the commissioners that are doing one man’s job?
      Anything else you want to ask? CHECKMATE

    2. Lopez can get on line with the rest of the Khader Hater Fan Club.

      Yes there are more pressing issues to work on. Khader asked for a plan to be put in place which cost nothing to the taxpayers. A simple issue like this, is an easy fix but instead you all want to play politics and point fingers. What’s so hard about add something in BOE policy regarding extreme hot weather. Another example of the lazy administration we have.

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