The Hezitorial Revealing the YBoE Board of Trustees’ Past and Present Conduct
New Crisis at Paideia School 15 of Yonkers
YONKERS, NY — January 3, 2019 — Paideia School 15 of Yonkers has suffered neglect for many years of oversight dismissed as too financially burdensome for the Yonkers Public School (YPS) District to mitigate in a timely manner. Fiscal constraints have plagued the Yonkers Board of Education (YBoE) hierarchy over which the Yonkers Board of Education Board of Trustees have for too long remained quiescent to the deficiencies and demeanor of conduct and follow through under the guise of non-existent transparency. Eclipsing asserted transparency by the Yonkers Board of Education Trustees is intentioned silence and subterfuge with respect to credible and fiscally prudent oversight of the Yonkers Public School District. It is their collective delinquency that has undermined the integrity of a one-time highly regarded public education system. Yet the crisis is exacerbated by a debauched “get along, to get along” old boy’s network of sycophants, even if there are women on the YBoE Board of Trustees.
The elitist members of the YBoE Board of Trustees have taken umbrage and cover from public inquiry on a myriad of concerns that are indicative of their aberrational misconduct. If that were not an egregious depiction of their conduct, how else can one explain, without any external corroborative analysis the dismissiveness of health concerns on many fronts.
Lead discovered coursing the pipes with lead in the water fountains first revealed by the Yonkers Tribune were initially covered up. That was until the lethargic action for testing the water and the Yonkers Public Schools claimed an “aha moment” that a few water fountain spigots were the cause of lead in the water. That pronouncement , never corroborated by any laboratory seemed to win acceptance because people want to believe. The word of the YPS was believed without ever getting credible outside analysis other than the unsubstantiated words of John Carr and Jerilynne Fierstein. To delude oneself is appalling in every sense; still it placates the visceral and cerebral concerns of parents and guardians alike.
The molds that infested the walls and closets, even items covered in plastic, could not remedy the problem that grew out of control. Molds caused students, faculty, and supporting staff to suffer derogatory respiratory responses to the molds by some people more that others, dependent on their immune systems ability to ward off the mold infestation. Mold spores circulated throughout the school environment. People were sneezing, eyes were tearing, and worse.
A regiment to cleanse the walls and closets from these deleterious molds were not kept in check because the cleaning process intervals were not revisited in a timely manner. This despite the mold infestation revealing its presence on walls and in closets and staining ceiling tiles. It was so insidious, that items intended to be protected from the spreading molds were unprotected even when wrapped in plastic. It is this fact, that personnel in Paideia School 15 of Yonkers, as well as others in the YPS District, were aware. Yet their individual voices were silenced dismissively by claimed responses that never came to pass. None.
So the old “boys and girls network” continued their arrogant and dismissive conduct. The YBoE Trustees should have either hired more people to find solvents that were more powerful to allow greater interval times between one cleaning to the other, or defined and designed a credible response to the health issues revealed, and found the fiscal resources to mitigate these issues. Alas no such remedy is yet in place, nor can one expect one as the issues are now dead and buried. So the Yonkers Board of Education Trustees, the Yonkers Public School District, Yonkers Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada, YBoE Trustee President Rev. Steve Lopez continue their “merry way” unperturbed and unruffled until the next crisis.
That crisis has arrived. This time the crisis is borne out of a lack of concern for fiscal responsibility. That crisis has already levied and approved a price tag of $100,000 to be paid for a situation that took place on the property of Paideia School 15 of Yonkers, but it was not caused by any stretch of the imagination by by anyone at the school.
As part of the remedial effort to bring Paideia School 15 of Yonkers up to code, heavy equipment was brought unto the school property. The heavy equipment was driven onto the school parking lot. The weight of the equipment was of such enormity however, that the parking lot buckled under its weight and may have undermined the school building structure itself. Before anyone could blink an eye, the Yonkers Board of Education Board of Trustees convened with respect to this new “crisis”.
Revealing the basis for the “crisis” were two of the 9 members of the Yonkers Board of Education Board of Trustees, specifically Trustee President Rev. Steve Lopez, and Trustee Kevin Cacace. They informed the board of what had transpired and advised that the situation would cost the YBoE $100,000. Their synopsis was evidently compelling as the majority of Trustees voted approval of $100,000 to remedy the “crisis”.
The Yonkers Tribune suggests that despite this “crisis”, seeming caused by the company that was called onto the scene, from the YBoE perspective, it may not he held responsible for the outcome. No one checked if the parking lot had the capacity to endure the weight of the equipment brought to the school parking lot? Is the firm that was engaged not the party responsible for this “mishap”? If not them, who? Why is the Yonkers taxpayer responsible for paying for this calamity? Why was the the collective YBoE Board of Trustees so quick to remedy this crisis with taxpayer funds. YPS Superintendent Dr. Quezada had advised at last year’s budget hearings that oftentimes the YBoE “borrows from Peter to pay Paul!” Quezada is referring to previously allocated funding for school function that will now be taken from its future needs to pay for the present “crisis” and thereby causing a shortfall with respect to future needs. This issue is relevant because neither the school, its personnel, students, and staff had anything to do with causing this “crisis”. Isn’t the firm engaged for their “service” insured to cover what is alleged to be their fault and thereby their responsibility?
Yonkers Tribune placed a call to Yonkers Board of Education Trustee Kevin Cacace this morning before the Westchester On the Level radio broadcast. At that time Mr. Cacace was uncertain over the deliberated facts and promised to return my telephone inquiry in the afternoon which he did.
He and YBoE Trustee President Rev. Steve Lopez advised and were both proponents for issuing an Emergency Declaration to contend with the parking lot that had collapsed under the weight of a vehicle that caused the area under that vehicle to collapse the parking lot above which it stood. It was initially judged to allocate $100,000 toward the remedy. Since the incident took place, it is now deemed that repairs will come to $58,000 advised Trustee Cacace. When the parking lot collapsed under the weight of the vehicle, it did so alongside an oil tank to which no reinforcement, such as concrete, existed to maintain the integrity of that area that would have mitigated the collapse of the parking lot under the weight of heavy machinery.
Mr. Cacace is unaware what type of vehicle arrived on the parking lot. If that is the case, the operator of the vehicle Trustee Cacace advises may not be legally responsible for the mishap. Furthermore, Trustee Cacace suggests the $58,000 cost would likely not be worth engaging in a lawsuit.
Trustee Cacace asserted that whoever built the parking lot may have omitted the necessary concrete to protect the oil tank which evidently was not used to cradle the oil tank securely. Trustee Cacace advised that if there was an oversight or omission by the designer of the parking lot, it would likely be too costly to determine who authorized such plans without the concrete, or if was omitted unintentionally. Which begs the question if there was an authorized architect knowledgeable on how to protect an oil tank under a parking lot then and if we have anyone with that expertise today.
The Yonkers Tribune was advised the $100,000 allocation was voted and won passage, but shy of unanimity. We are unaware who voted for or against the allocation. Trustee Cacace does not remember a vote to allocate the $100,000 in funds at all. He advises and expects a vote with be taken at the next YBoE meeting sometime in January.
Trustee Cacace in unaware of the name of the company that brought the vehicle that would cause the collapse of the parking lot. He is also unaware of the vehicle, its weight, its purpose. And/or even if it is insured when traversing a school parking lot or if it was authorized to be on the grounds or for what purpose.
There are not enough personnel to review any future schools being built with the architectural background to review and validate construction projects.
There is too long an interval between inspections of buildings for issues of integrity, molds, or even regular testing from authenticating laboratories fo decipher the lead level in the pipes feeding water fountains in the schools.
If the vehicle was owned by a contractor and permitted to operate in Yonkers on school grounds it must be insured. Cacace did not mention if the YBoE was allocating the funds and would have the funds reimbursed should an insurance company pay for the calamity of this incident. Based on my discussion with Trustee Cacace, I inferred he believed no re-nurse ent would be forthcoming. Even so, Trustee Cacace did not remember the incident in its entirety
Who is responsible to have checked the holding weight capacity of the parking lot? Why is there no security to ascertain if a vehicle is of too great a weight and therefore cannot be permitted on a school parking lot. If unknown, why was a platform of some kind not brought in upon which to place the equipment by distributing its weight over a larger imprint?
Is anyone responsible? Seemingly not!
The Yonkers Tribune has spent over one month seeking information about this happening. Parents called totally exacerbated about the issue. Yet they were concerned about retribution against their children should anyone infer a child’s name or a parent’s/guardian’s name with respect to this issue. Their fear is palpable. Corroboration took so long because fear had imposed a “need” to be silent over this happenstance. Yonkers Tribune understands the conundrum. We have never revealed our sources while others have. Hezi Aris, the Yonkers Tribune Editor-at-Large has been involved in this news media for twenty years and never once has even one name been divulged for any reason what-so-ever! Not named as a source in writing or verbally expressed to a third party. We are known and trusted. That is the record of the Yonkers Tribune. That is my pact with our readership. It defines our credibility.
If you know something, say something. Direct email to Yonkers Tribune Editor-at-Large Hezi Aris at eHezi@hush.com . If the issue is pertinent to you send an email as noted or text/call 347-415-4326. Yonkers Tribune is an advocate of the U. S. Constitution protected Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Speech.