Yonkers Public School District / Yonkers City Hall Engaged in Extorting / Stealing Money From High School Students To The Tune Of $9,168 Every Year
By HEZI ARIS

eHezi Business, Education, Governance, History, Law, New York State, People, Political Analysis, Politics, Technology, Westchester County, NY, Yonkers, NY 62 Comments

The Extortion Hezitorial

  1. Dr. Fenix Arias, Yonkers Public Schools (YPS) Manager of Administration issues new directive that steals student raised funds to replace Quick Books accounting software with ASBWorks accounting software. If the YPS desires to subscribe to a new accounting software program it is THEY who should engage in an annual contract for the package, not indenture the present student population and those students that follow them into the future. If you steal their money after you promised to protect it for the purposes initially permitted, the YPS will be breaching their responsibilities to the students in the amount of $9,168 every year taken from those who are members to a group with a GO (General Organization) student account every year.
  2. Has Yonkers Corporation Counsel scrutinized this illegal conduct? Is the Yonkers Public School District a private school or a public school? Has the Yonkers City Council endorsed the extortion of Yonkers HIgh School students’ money? The Yonkers Tribune asserts this is totally illegal conduct.
  3. Why is there a need to change accounting software? What is the rationale for such a change?
  4. Is ASBWorks a “friend of the family”?  Was there a call for a public bid for a new accounting software contract? If so, why? Quick Books is an excellent program that functions without imposing a financial burden on the students; ASBWorks will cost a total of $9,168 every year for all 8 high schools together or $1,146 per high school.
  5. The excuse/rationale for engaging ASBWorks is that sometime last year the school computer system was hacked. Whether the system was hacked or not last year, it is with certainty that Quick Books has patched their software to avoid a repeat. There was no announcement last year of the computer system at the YPS  being hacked. Is the YPS District attempting to re-write history today? There is no secure server anywhere in the world that has proven itself to be impervious to being hacked. So it is not about protecting the students’ money after all, but for reasons YPS District and the CoY have yet to explain. The Central Intelligence Agency has been hacked, the Department of Defense, major and minor banks. They didn’t throw out the programs intended to protect their respective systems, they patched them up. That responsibility must therefore fall onto the Yonkers Board of Education, not the students.
  6. And the Yonkers Board of Education Board of Trustees have not voted on engaging the services of ASBWorks. And yet, the memo advising the changes was issued on August 14, 2019. Why has the Yonkers Board of Education Board of Trustees not yet been briefed and voted on the efficacy of this conduct.

Stealing Student Raised Funds That Are Allocated with Approved Specificity Does Not Include Nor Permit for An Annualized Accounting Software Agreement

Read Pre-Planned Ploy and How It Is Intended to Steal from Yonkers Public Schools High School Students 

Bronxville Tribune / Yonkers Tribune / Mount Vernon Tribune / Westchester Tribune Publisher / Editor-at-Large and WHYT Radio’s Westchester On the Level Host Hezi Aris.

YONKERS, NY — September 27, 2019– The Yonkers Board of Education, a City of Yonkers Department, on August 14, 2019, sent notice to Secondary Principals and Central Office Administrators attributed to Dr. Fenix Arias, Manager of Administration, a Yonkers Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada crony, informing the recipients noted of an update with respect to Extra Classroom Activities / Club Application process. The jargon boils down to informing students and their faculty advisors that funds raised by high school students from students’ bake sales, dances, car washes, among other efforts will be taken , that is extorted from them to purchase unnecessary accounting software? The software is not required. This is a con to make the students pay for software that will be used for other unexplained services that has no purpose for the high school students that are expected to pay for the software; explained herein.

Can the students refuse to pay? Yes, they can! However, will they be threatened with failing a class if they don’t turn over the money as demanded by Dr. Fenix Arias? 

The money high schoolers raise gets deposited into a General Organization account, referred to as a GO account. Each school may have many GO accounts. The GO accounts represent a club or a specific student interest. Therefore each high school may have 5 clubs or 12, or 20. And each of these clubs appoint a president and treasurer, as well as an approved faculty member and the school principle. The approved faculty member is paid a minuscule stipend to scrutinize the account and oversee that it is managed professionally and within the guidelines set by the Yonkers Public Schools District. Funds are disbursed from GO accounts at the behest of the students’ President and Treasurer of each respective account.  It is only when the GO President and Treasurer, the signatories of a GO account deem it appropriate to dispense funds from their GO account for a specific purpose, that they inform the teacher and the school principal of their intent and the sum requested is paid to the intended recipient of that money, that is, for example, a business, store, service, movie theatre, etc. 

Even though there were approved GO accounts before, with the appropriate student, faculty, and principal oversight conforming to protocol, the Yonkers Public School District is changing the rules and regulations after the fact.

  • They want every group to file new applications to Maureen Walsh for approval.
  • Guidelines for recommending an activity / club:
  1. Educational purposes-9th grade and older.
  2. Petition signed by at least 7 students.
  3. Faculty has been appointed
  • All activities / club applications MUST be received by October 31, 2019 otherwise the activity / club will NOT be able to do any fundraising for the 2019-2020 school year.

Other Hot Topics:

  • All fundraising events MUST be approved by the Principle BEFORE the event can take place. Faculty Advisors and students are asked to  plan accordingly.
  • They write: “We will be replacing QuickBooks with ASBWorks. Each building will be invoiced separately for the annual licensing fee so it can be paid using Extra Classroom Activities (ECA) funds.” The amount for the first year per building is $1,146. NOTE: There are 8 buildings. The total annual cost burden for all 8 high schools is $9,168.
  • All staff members are expected to adhere to all Extra Classroom Activities (ECA) policies and procedures
  • Cash flow is the responsibility of all staff members and students involved in the Extra Classroom Activities (ECA) process.
  • Cash MUST be deposited within (3) days. Late deposits will delay positive pay process and hence payments to vendors. THIS STATEMENT IMPLIES THAT THE DEAL IS DONE. 
  • Forms will be made available on OneDrive

Yonkers Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada is noted by a whistleblower to state that the purpose for getting this new software “is being done to protect the student accounts from City (City of Yonkers) takeover”. How rich! Quezada blaming Yonkers City Hall for this directive. Worse still, “The principals say that they re being TOLD to do this.” At issue is whether this is a Yonkers Public School District directive or a directive from Yonkers City Hall? Mayor Mike Spano’s appointment of Dr. Quezada is now revealed to have turned into a pissing match for dominance and control and the students are the scapegoats and will be the ones to suffer. Do the parents / guardians know?  

Has Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. been advised of this planned extortion? 

The whistleblower “anticipates retaliation” for speaking out.” 

Lest anyone forget, the Yonkers Public School District is entrusted to abide by the following directive they adopted:

 

eHeziYonkers Public School District / Yonkers City Hall Engaged in Extorting / Stealing Money From High School Students To The Tune Of $9,168 Every Year
By HEZI ARIS

Comments 62

  1. What exactly does Ms. Arias do for the Yonkers Schools? There are already department heads and tons of Supts. What a waste of taxpayers money.

  2. It’s not only happening at YMA. These food carts and candy/ donut trucks are in other schools as well. The Arias lady says she’s taking orders from her boss.

  3. As a parent in the district, I have had to deal with Dr. Arias repeatedly. Sadly, instead of stepping up as a leader and thoughtfully listening to concerns, evaluating the process and working towards a solution, she was quite rude and in so many words told me to move out of Yonkers if I didn’t like what I heard. This is not the kind of leadership that YPS deserves. We need strong experienced leadership to lead the way. Let’s work together to improve the system.

  4. The Yonkers Schools is our cash cow. I am a custodian at Pulaski. I leave at 6 pm to have dinner. I pound a few beers at Yonkers Brewery and my buddies punch me out. All legit.

  5. At my kids school, the SGO sells candy every lunch period, and pizza on Wednesdays and Fridays. What a racket! all cash! been going on for years. I called and complained to whomever would listen. The BOE said it was needed for field trips. Yeah right! It’s for the secondary homes of YMA’s administration.

  6. What Yonkers needs is All new faces, and abolish the need for Counsel representatives because they only represent their own families and vote with the Spano’s. So why the expense to the taxpayers. Bring back a brand new outsider to fight corruption and bring some integrity back to Yonkers. # corrupt City

    1. Exactly what I am thinking, however, they allowed the Mayor to run for a third term so you can assume things will not change anytime soon. Ever notice that the jobs he hands out to family members or in-laws have no credentials whatsoever and some are dumber than a doorknob.

  7. We hear so much about keyboards and cowards. We heard that lying fat union leader Keith Olson and Spano crime fixer calling people cowards for expressing their opinions of what they perceive as facts. I think in time the truth will prevail as to what a thug who physically attacked others is now crying about. You boys should be concerned about Pandora’s Box Mr. Olson.
    This story is about Yonkers Officials skimming money from H.S. school clubs and students. Sort of how Olson placed the burden of proof on his so called brothers in blue during contract time. Loser keep crying and ask Nick how much more he needs

      1. First of all Pineada spent her first term living with her boyfriend in Harlem. She used her mothers address but it started to get out and she finally moved here! For that reason alone I would never give her any respect. Stealing from the taxpayers is a crime. She is not educated and the City Council position should have an educated individual in the position. I like the fact that present and past were lawyers. The problem is one was beholden to our Mayor. Although, had our Republican representatives voted NO to the budget it would have left Khader in a tight position. Would be have voted No? We will never know because the City Council is brought and paid for. This is very sad when those that are supposed to be on the right side of the law are blatantly making all kinds of deals so that in a city filled with an overwhelming amount of Democrats Councilman Breen has no Democratic opponent. PATHETHIC!

        1. What is Corazon’s background anyway? All these City Council people should have a detailed profile of their background, education, previous work experience, etc on the Yonkers city website. Why is this info not available there Mr Mayor? City Council President can you followup in this recommendation?

          And yes, no Democrat opponent to run against Mr Breen is ridiculous! Or even a competent Republican should primary him!

  8. Mr. Matteo is in collusion with Phenix Arias. The bottom line is Shes looking to take money from our high school students and is an outright hypocrite.

  9. Well Ron, we believe you may have the experience but that was then and this is corrupt Yonkers. Your Colonial Heights experience says that your a Spano lackey with much to say without proof. You must be living under a big boulder. The City is a mess with corruption from the Yonkers Police Department cover ups to the Board of Education, not to mention all the cash Nick Spano is paid from police promotions to construction lobbying for quick permits. Why don’t you cover the difference, I am sure Mike Spano or Nick might invite you over for donated donuts.

  10. Hezi, this looks like pretty standard school based software. This will increase transparency and I think it is positive step. It looks like the pricing scheme is per school, not per district. Other packages charge based on enrollment numbers. I have over 25 years in school based administration and I think you are making much about nothing. Not my personal, but professional opinion. However, I do enjoy reading your publication and appreciate your efforts.
    Ron Matten
    Colonial Heights

    1. Post
      Author

      I appreciate your perspective Mr. Matten. I believe we concur. The caharge is per school. The sum of $9,168 is for all 8 high schools. If I am in error in someway, it would be important for the YBoE to reveal the need for this change, the catalyst that caused this change, what was deficient, the exact need for no software, what the new software will do that the old cannot, and most importantly, if the need is so pertinent.to what end is this of benefit to the children? It seems to me the purchase of this new software is of benefit for whatever realizednew needs by the YPS District, and of new value to the kids. And if it is so pertinent, why has this issue no come before the Yonkers BoE Board of Trustees. Typical of keeping everything under wraps with no discussion only a directive. And the advisement that the payment is due in a timely fashion so the vendor may be paidinforms me that the deal is done.Did anyone ask them kids if they can afford it? Thi is outright theft. I am not giving me personal opinion. I have professional knowledge as well and that s what I have offered. This conduct will only lead to investigations from higher authorities that will cost the city dearly in litigation. I will await the outcome. I believe I have present the issues in an erudite and concise manner. I appreciate and respect your input.—Kindly, Hezi

      1. Currently, my organization is updating its software, because the new ones are cloud based while the old ones are server based. The upgraded software requires no maintenance on our part , it’s included in the licensing fee. It also allows our central office to view and download data and reports. This allows for greater central oversight. From my perspective, these are good things. I cannot speak to the motivations of the YPS, but not all things are nefarious.
        Ron

    2. Basic question: If new software is needed by YPS why isn’t the request send, approved, appropriated and funded by Yonkers BOE $600 million budget? Why is it being syphoned from student funds? Can anyone answer this question? Can this be addressed at next CC meeting?

      1. There may be certain requirements for self sustainability. For instance, I worked in a district where food service was required to be self sustaining. Every year they ran a small deficit. They were required to come before the board and town bodies to request interim funding. In essence, this program was not funded by tax revenue, except for a small part. This policy allowed the taxing authority to review operating procedures annually. There would have been no review process, if expenditures where rolled into the larger school budget.
        Ron

  11. Phenix Arias is doing what she was directed to do by her boss Quezada. They are truly concerned about City Hall and Mikey Spanhoe taking high school fundraising dollars and other money to pay for city municipal jobs.

    1. Post
      Author

      I have heard that premise spoken. Yet, it is not Mayor Spano who would be stealing money from the 8 high schools’ students, but the YPS District would be they ones stealing their money. In what way is the software capable of denying the Spano Administration from taking the student’s money? In the same manner that the Yonkers Tribune is denied to be accessed through any Yonkers Board of Education or City Hall computer system, should the Yonkers Board of Education be concerned that City Hall might stealth students’ money, why don’t they deny the City of Yonkers access to the YBoE computer system? The reason is because this nothing but an outright lie. If yo don’t believe me, no problem, ask an expert. Perhaps a university professor engaged in computer security. — Kindly, Hezi

      1. you’re an idiot, the yonkers tribune is not and has not been blocked since the days of petrone. get your facts straight or don’t post.

      1. Post
        Author
  12. Arias is convinced mayor mike wants to take money from public high school students that the kids raised. She is stating the reason for the new accounting system is because the city will “dip into” student funds.

  13. Ahh tell it to the District Attorney’s Office and get back to bus work. Your an outsider pointing fingers and calling out names. These Educators where here before you and will be here way after your last bus arrives by ghetto square. Yonkers is a very corrupt town with losers like you attempting to stifle corruption by labeling people you call whistleblowers. And BTW, Yonkers is crumbling with corruption and it is time to legally protect “ whistleblowers”. See something say something.

      1. Have you seen the cost of those intersection trips at YMA?
        Funny, how the 2 big schools siphoning off food sales were lead by a husband and wife team

  14. — Interesting article. Is Jane Wermuth your whistle blower? She is a failed principal who has demonstrated poor leadership, just ask parents at school 15 about how she has destroyed the school and its curricula, lowering all schools standards and state scores. Can you trust your source? Did she show you poof as to why these changes are implemented? Is she also getting a sweet deal from high schools petty cash?

    Or are these coming from principals at Riverside and Saunders (dumb and dumber) who want to use schools funds as their petty cash? Makes you wonder if the school district is trying to protect students’ funds from corrupted principals. Why not interview Dr. Arias and get the District’s side of the story?
    Are principals misusing students’ funds? Or Are they using students for fundraising and/or facilitate their petty cash?
    As a principal I would want transparency and protocols in place. Be careful about slandering administrators if Wermuth is your source. She is an angry at the district because of her failures to lead what used to be a superb school. She is also a poor administrator as a principal, that’s the reason she was removed from Yonkers High School. Makes you wonder about her commitment to children as she supports corrupted principals. Careful about your sources!

    – Concern Citizen

    1. Thank you “concerned citizen” for bringing up some very valid points. I find it interesting when people fight change so desperately, to me it implies guilt. “The lady doth protest to much, methinks”

  15. Nikolai Spano will decide what is best for YPS. By the way, while Nikola has no principals, schools are run by principals. Where is your editor?

    1. That means the Westchester District Attorney’s Office of Public Integrity has a lot of investigating. They are still working on the 4:30 accident where Mike Spano was partying with other city slobs.
      Funny how the proper YPD protocol wasn’t followed because this young man was drinking all day and evening with drunken city officials and drunken Mayor Mike Spano. Now skimming cash from High School Clubs….. shame on this very corrupt city

  16. Who is this Arias director of all master of none. She is depriving kids access to go on field trips. She hates Yonkers and is removed from children. Who hired this vindictive, incompetent loser.

    1. Did this come in front of the city council? Did they vote on this? It is my understanding that city has no say on BOE matters. Other than approving funds.

      1. Post
        Author

        The Yonkers Board of education Board of Trustees has yet to approve or deny this measure which they must decide if it is legal. The Yonkers Tribune suggests it is ILLEGAL. If the Yonkers Public School District is desirous of a new accounting software package it is the Yonkers Board of trustees who must vote it through and by so doing, also fund the cost in perpetuity. Considering the financial plight of th Yonkers Public School District, it is an outrage that the district would indenture present high schools students presently enrolled and those that will eventually become students at one of these high schools. Dr. Quezada and Dr. Arias espouse the purpose of the new accounting software is to thwart the City of Yonkers from taking the children’s money when in reality the decision to enter into an agreement with a new accounting software firm serves the purpose of the YPS District, and NOT the high school students. Should this be passed by the Yonkers Board of Trustees, it must be challenged legally. And isn’t it telling that this “theft”is taking place without it being publicly noticed. The CoY asserts they have been shortchanged by a funding formula that undermines the YpSDistrict’s capacity. If that is the case, why would we trash the accounting software that, if you want to believe the scuttlebutt, is that the Board of Education’s computers were hacked last year. Since that “incident”, if it happened, though it was never revealed, how and in what manner has the YBoE secured their computer systems or almost a year’s time. Easy, the company whose software was allegedly hacked has been patched, thereby negating the need to replace it with a costly software package that cannor be deemed secure, as there are no present software accounting systems that are 100 percent secure. Banks have been hacked, the CIA, the Department of Defense, among others. They revealed when they had been hackeD/ Why didn’t Yonkers report that incident when it llegedly happened a year ago? Authorizing new accounting software does not serve the needs of the students in any manner. It is intended only to serve the YPS District. The replacement software only serves the people presently in charge, and none of those in charge are high school students. This is nothing other that an illegal effort to steal the student’s money. — Kindly, Hezi

  17. Mr Quezada and Arias should be put on the first dirty train out of Yonkers. Arias you are not the Superintendent. You are a bus runner for Quezada. Remember your place and order some quality food for the students of Yonkers and then call the District Attorney’s Office and let them know who is getting the kickback.

  18. How low can this City go. Mayor Mike Spano if you need more cash to fund more jobs for your family, just hire less of them. Someone should file a formal complaint with the NYSED. Stealing funds from High School after school clubs. Shame on you Mike Spano.

  19. If the YPS is so desperate for $9k to resort to this malpractice, one can only imagine the extent of systemic misappropriation and waste that exists! It’s just indicative of how inefficient and ineffective they are in managing a $600 million budget. The YPS/BOE needs more fiscal accountability to and oversight from City Council and City Hall.

  20. All roads point to Mikey boy Spano. Yonkers parents need to wake up. This is what happens when you are in office too long. Fat Nick runs the City. Yonkers residents need to rid themselves of the friends and family network. Now robbing students too.

  21. Is this all YPS knows how to do, lie and steal? We need to get rid of Quezada and his minions like Arias. Then they wonder why we have no faith or trust in our school officials. High School parents in Yonkers fight back! Do not let them take this money from your children! There is power in numbers, call and email and let your voices be heard. As long as there is no pushback this will continue! Our children deserve better.

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