Chuck Lesnick’s Subversive Conduct Hezitorial
Addendum from Yonkers City Council President Included
YONKERS, NY — December 21, 2018 — “Legal Eagle” Chuck Lesnick asserted he had a plan to undermine the veto-proof, 5-2 Yonkers City Council super-majority vote cast that approved the extension of term limits from 2 to 3 terms. The super-majority vote initiated a schism among those who were pro and con extending term limits that two previous referenda in past years were not approved. The issue of extending or rescinding term limits failed to win voter approval. When the concept of extending term limits became a viable precedent as witnessed by the majority vote to extend term limits by the New York City Council in favor of Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s request, the prospect for such a move to be emulated elsewhere, did indeed take root in the City of Yonkers (CoY), to the chagrin of some and the delight of others.
The task to undermine the super-majority vote was daunting. A petition drive to undermine the super-majority vote by the Yonkers City Council could be overturned, if at minimum, 5 percent of all Yonkers voters who cast their respective ballot for governor, no matter party affiliation, could be matched or eclipsed. In order for the process to become effective, the minimum number of petitions gathered would need to be submitted to the Yonkers City Clerk within 45 days after Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano signed off on the approved Yonkers City Council resolution. The deadline for the submission of the petitions was yesterday, December 20, 2018.
Yet from the beginning, Chuck Lesnick, promoting himself as the “next” mayor of Yonkers, won the backing of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, better known as the “Indivisibles”.
In hindsight the “Indivisibles’” acceptance of Lesnick’s leadership role on the effort was faulty because they were backing an inept “leader” incapable of delivering. That became evident when Chuck Lesnick did not ascribe his name to the effort choosing instead to hide behind the apron strings of a “Gloria Fields” rather than affix his so-called “prominent” name to the petition gathering effort. His timid yet tangential connection to the petition drive was recognized when Lesnick did not make the petition gathering deadline or any effort to address the Yonkers City Council’s “Forum” on the issue. Weeks later, when Mayor Mike Spano held a Public Hearing on this same issue, Chuck Lesnick was again missing in action.
Then the Yonkers Tribune learned that an e-mail / letter was disbursed informing those interested to collect signatures for this petition drive would be paid to do so. In order to comply being able to pay signature gatherers, Lesnick would have had to create a funded corporate structure from which those who would be employed toward collecting petition signatures would be paid. When Yonkers Tribune made inquiry of Lesnick if he had filed for such an entity, he advised he did not, but that he did have an EIN, an Employee ID number issued by and only obtainable from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). When inquiry of Lesnick was again made as to when the corporate filing would be accomplished, Lesnick responded by advising that even as late as December 7th only volunteers had gathered signatures. The logic that only volunteers had gathered signatures for this so-called petition effort was ludicrous. Christmas and New Year was beckoning and yes, expenses increased exponentially during the holidays. It therefore follows that those who had the time, would be more than pleased to obtain signatures on behalf of this effort for pay.
Yet Lesnick’s behavior was even more egregious, specifically with respect to the volunteer petition gatherers. At first Lesnick advised that all petitions gathered would need to be presented to “Gloria Fields” by December 7 to abide by a deadline day of December 10th. This too was proven false. It seems December 20th was the final day for all petitions gathered to be presented to the Yonkers City Clerk and this is where things got worse than even fathomable, but all have been corroborated by the Yonkers Tribune.
A phone call was received from an unidentified caller asking what were the hours of operation of the Office of the Yonkers City Clerk. The person was advised that the City Clerk’s Office operated from 9am to 4 PM every Monday to Friday, except on Tuesdays when the times of operation are from 9am-7pm.
On December 20th, Chuck Lesnick arrives at 4:33pm at Yonkers City Hall. He is required to show his ID to the Police Officer standing guard at the entranceway. Lesnick refuses and somehow evades presenting his ID and runs to the offices of Yonkers Corporation Counsel to drop off the petitions gathered, but was advised that they do not have the authority to accept any documents on behalf of the Yonkers City Clerk. Had Lesnick presented his ID to the Police Officer, the Police Officers might have checked whether Clerks Spano and Ramondelli were in the building. Also, why did Lesnick not call the City Clerk’s Office or the the cell number for Clerk Vincent Spano to check if they were still on the premises, and further, why did Lesnick not call the Clerk’s office to advise he was running late? Surely, Lesnick has the Office of the Clerk, as well as Clerk Spano’s cell phone contact!
Lesnick then departs Yonkers City Hall and drives to Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader’s house. He presents the petitions to Mike Khader at approximately 6:30pm that night.
Both Yonkers City Clerk Vincent Spano and Yonkers Deputy City Clerk Mike Ramondelli knowing that Lesnick was expected to arrive to present the petitions were at the Clerk’s Office until 5:10pm. Chuck Lesnick had not tried to enter the City Clerk’s office, had he, he would have found Spano and Ramondelli waiting for him.
The only manner that is valid to present the petitions was to present it to the Office of the Yonkers City Clerk during official hours, or if the City Clerks were there when he arrived, but he did not try to open the glass doors to their office, or he could have sent the petitions by way of the U.S. Post Office located on 34th Street which is open until 12Midnight. Had he done that, the petitions would have been valid because the package would have been dated before Midnight on December 20, 2018. Lesnick did not do that. Lesnick’s conduct undermined th efforts of those who signed the petition and were thwarted from succeeding in their effort by the subterfuge exacted by Lesnick himself. Lesnick has proven his words and deeds are worthless.
There are many in Yonkers who are desirous to extend the terms of office to a third term. There are others, just as passionate, who are appalled by the Yonkers City Council super-majority vote that could have been undermined by a petition drive that had the minimum 4,765 valid signatures ascribed on the petition to bring about a Special Election over the issue, in essence, a third referendum.
Yonkers insiders advise that the documents presented to Khader were oftentimes reams of duplicated pages and even if all were correct, they did not meet the minimum 4,765 signatures required.
At issue is why from December 7th to December 20th, Lesnick did not inform the volunteer petition gatherers that they could have continued their petition gathering effort until the last day?
Recognize that not advising the petition gatherers that their effort could continue, Lesnick robbed those people who passionately wanted to deny a third term to the mayor and the City Council members a legal and prudent course of conduct that he subverted without shame.
What was Lesnick thinking?
The only takeaway one may infer is in what discipline did Lesnick earn his Yale University degree so that those interested in politics avoid whatever it is Lesnick was taught there!
COUNCIL PRESIDENT KHADER CONFIRMS RECEIPT OF PETITIONS
YONKERS, NY – December 20, 2018 — Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader confirmed the receipt of two volumes of citizen petitions the evening of Thursday, December 20th, also clarifying the subsequent withdrawal thereof by the filers.
“Last night, I received two volumes of petitions with approximately 3,475 signatures delivered to me at my home. Upon receipt, I immediately contacted the City Clerk to alert him that I was in possession of the petitions. Subsequently, the filer of the petitions requested that they be withdrawn; accordingly, there will be no further action by the Office of the City Council President or the City Clerk,” said Council President Khader.
SOURCE: David Broadway, Aide to the Council President