Yonkers Political Extortions and Analysis Hezitorial
YONKERS, NY — April 28, 2019 — The uninformed Yonkersite would be apoplectic if they had even an inkling of what is taking place behind their backs. Last Yonkers heard, the City of Yonkers (CoY) was facing a deficit of some $17-$18 million dollars they designated as specific to the Yonkers Board of Education (YBoE) whereas Yonkers City Hall asserted they were even or balanced of the City Hall side. Yet lest anyone forget, the CoY and the YBoE are tied at the hip. The YBoE is a dependent public school system and funds are funneled to the YBoE through the Office of Finance Commissioner John Liszewski. Recognizing that the Yonkers Board of Education Board of Trustees are appointed by Mayor Mike Spano, it is incongruous that Yonkers Public School Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada has yet to create a balanced budget that conforms to educational need, inclusive of teaching staff, and ancillary workers. Sadly, Mayor Mike Spano has not reigned in the excesses of the Department of the Yonkers Board of Education.
When one recognizes that every $3 million shortfall requires a 1% tax increase or a commensurate number of staff being laid-off if one accepts the $18million shortfall that figure is equivalent to a 6 percent tax increase. But even the numbers are smoke screens. They are intentioned only to create a yearly drama that turns Yonkersites’ stomach sour. Insted, we learn that CoY has budgeted a tax increase of 3.5%. The discrepancy is neither acknowledged or validated. Perhaps that is because there will be a 6% increase in the water bill.
Those are the con-games played to befuddle minds of people unfamiliar with budgets, as well as to not reveal the long list of nuisance taxes that exact a heavy and burdensome toll onto the taxpayer. This ploy has been proven effective for decades because the lone critics who reveal the salient figures, are challenged by City Hall employees and their sycophants in their employ by words only, never revealing the game plan afoot.
Let’s discover what most people don’t know about the State of the City.
This is complicated. If you are a taxpayer you best know what you are paying for and why.
Let’s speak truth to power … Yonkers City Councilmember Corazón Pineda-Isaac (D-2) gained employment with Westchester County government. She is permitted to maintain her City Council District seat as it has been judged there is no conflict of interest in working for Westchester County Government and representing District 2 on the Yonkers City Council. The Yonkers Tribune has learned that Ms.Pineda-Isaacs’ sister has been hired to work in the Office of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. Whether the sister is qualified or not is a moot issue. She did not need to take or pass an exam. She was simply appointed to the responsibilities she will be expected to undertake. It would seem simple enough, yet in reality, it is most complex.
Mayor Mike Spano can best be described as a Republican, who chose to become a Democrat when it seemed the political winds were changing. Some people were offended, but most accepted his political philosophy because changing party affiliation was a prudent move on his part. While the Spano name was always entrenched in the Republican landscape, becoming a Democrat was accepted after the initial shock value had subsided. It is well known that Yonkersites have in the past tended to be Democrats albeit Conservative/Republican in their leanings.
Politics has changed of late, perhaps more so than ever in the past 5 years, although the changes have been occurring for some 25 to 35 years. It is no longer political dogma that drives the equation, instead it is ethnicity. With respect to Yonkers, the Hispanic community has moved into Yonkers, made it their home, and are on a trajectory that has evolved from subsistence to prospering and achieving political clout in the process. And that is all well and good.
Were Mike Spano a businessman employing people in various capacity for his business, there would be no issue. But it is a major issue and concern when the Mayor of the City of Yonkers hires a relative of a sitting Councilmember, specifically the sister of Councilmember Corazón Pineda-Isaac with the taxpayer footing the bill. Mind you, this issue is not a one-off concern.
The incident took place a few years ago when Yonkers Councilmember Michael Sabatino, now the Majority Leader, who demanded a job for his husband Robert Voorheis. Mr. Voorheis was working for then New York State Assemblymember Shelley Mayer, now New York State Senator, for a sum of $35,000 per annum. When Mayor Spano agreed to hire Mr. Voorheis for $70,000 per annum, that was not good enough for Councilman Sabatino; he demanded $80,000. The extortion worked. Mr. Voorheis now works for the Yonkers Department of Human Resources.
When now Yonkers Majority Leader Michael Sabatino decided not to run for re-election for a third term, for which he voted affirmatively, he knew, because he demanded it, that he would be employed by the Office of Mayor Mike Spano for a sum of at minimum $110,000 to $120,000 or even more.
There was a conflict to which Majority Leader Sabatino did not recuse himself when he voted to extend term limits. He knew he was already allegedly bought and paid for by way of a Mano- a-Mano agreement with Mayor Mike Spano.
In both the case of Councilmember Corazón Pineda-Isaac and Majority Leader Michael Sabatino, they will each vote for Mayor Mike Spano’s proposed FY2019~2020 Budget. They should both recuse themselves because they are employed by Mayor Spano at the taxpayer’s expense, but as revealed herein, their allegiance and loyalty resides squarely with the Mayor who has employed Ms. Pineda’s sister, and Mr.Sabatino’s husband, Robert Voorheis.
But there is more. Councilmember Pineda-Isaac has been courted by the left-leaning Democrats, better known as the Indivisibles, toward which Ms. Pineda-Isaac was leaning. When Mayor Spano recognized or believed that the Hispanic vote may sway the election from him, he capitulated by offering Ms. Pineda-Isaac employment for her sister, believing it would sway the Hispanic voter to cast their votes in greater numbers for him rather than a Hispanic candidate by the name of a Karen Beltran.
The takeaway is simple. Councilmember Pineda-Isaac and Majority Leader Sabatino will do as they are told while maintaining their respective seats on the Yonkers City Council on behalf of Mayor Mike Spano; the voter be damned.
But there is still more, approximately 30 positions have been allocated in the upcoming Proposed Mayor’s Budget for FY2019-2020. Contemplate $100,000 per employee position allocated. Multiply by 30. The total is equivalent to $3 million dollars which equals a burden of 1% more on the taxpayer’s back.
It does seem as though Yonkers City Hall has all the bases covered, except of course for the Yonkers Tribune, presuming of course that someone is reading the acid-tongued bloggers of the Yonkers Tribune.
I wonder what Governor Cuomo would say if he knew what was going on in Yonkers?
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Psst. Yonkers Tribune is informed by Yonkers City Hallers that the same 5 people maintain their presence on our webpages, no more. Sadly, I must admit when City Hall says it is so, it is so! Or is it?
In order to keep those 5 City Hallers entertained, I will delve into The Westchester County Legislative District 17 race in coming days.
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Those in contention for LD17 are Lucy Casanova Moreno, José Alvarado, and London Reyes.
NOTE: It is recognizable that there is little creative input into the con games played. The people change at times, the circumstances, as well. When the curtain falls it is just like it was years ago, except more audacious in its execution.