Yonkers City Council’s Musical Chair Scenario Hezitorial
YONKERS, NY — October 22, 2019 —Corazón Pineda-Isaacs (District 2) has thrown down the gauntlet in her challenge of Shanae Williams (District 1).
The gameplay was afoot for some time; it was strategically pernicious. The game plan was so subtle it seemed cloaked behind an opaque veneer that was easily eclipsed by the constant and ever-changing drama that consumes the political environment that defines the City of Yonkers (CoY). Focus is on one prize, a passive aggressive assault on the present power structure that defines the Yonkers City Councilmembership.
The protagonists number seven. Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader (Dem), Councilmember Shanae Williams (Dem-District 1), Councilmember Corazón Pineda-Isaacs (Dem-District 2), Council Majority Leader Michael Sabatino (Dem-District 3), Councilmember John Rubbo (Dem-District 4), Councilmember Mike Breen (Rep-District 5), and Councilmember Anthony Merante (Rep-District 6).
Corazón Pineda-Isaacs has long gotten away with conduct injurious to CoY. She has wrecked three city vehicles without a word from the administration, nor has she ever faced any financial responsibility for the damage caused to the cars she drove that were engaged in one accident or another.
Last October she advised that after focusing on her re-election effort, she divulged that she would be working as “the new Business Attraction & Retention Specialist” for Westchester County Executive George Latimer in the Westchester County Office of Economic Development.
She retained her position representing District 2 and is now also employed by Westchester County. At issue is whether her status as an employee of Westchester County may place her responsibilities and loyalties to her employer or to the people who elected her to office to represent their interests specific to District 2. (Aside: I have a vague recollection that when the issue was whether she would be present to represent District 2, she instead chose to attend to her responsibilities to her employer.) It was a conflict of interest that the Yonkers Tribune foresaw and foretold would come about and it did.
Then there is the issue of the city-owned car she has that is paid for by CoY, as well as for the automobile insurance; and the reduced price of gasoline for the vehicle, all paid for by the Yonkers taxpayer. The use of the car is strictly defined for use within the City of Yonkers and not for use outside the city limits. Former Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin, Esq. drove to his law firm in White Plains. That too was illegal. Not a word from the Yonkers Inspector General. Now with Councilmember Pineda-Isaac, the same concern; Not a peep from anyone. Why do Yonkers taxpayer’s always seem to get a bill despite standards defined being consistently trashed every time one looks at a situation. Perhaps Yonkers City Council should consider making everything that is illegal, legal so we can have no crime and accept so many of our elected officials as compliant with the letter of the law as opposed to their present debauched conduct.
Lest anyone has forgotten, Councilmember Pineda-Isaac’s sister is now an employee of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. Have any or all of Councilmember Pineda-Isaac’s children been promised jobs yet? If not now, when?
Now we arrive at the political shenanigans: Councilmember Pineda-Isaac is diligently invested in becoming the Yonkers City Council Majority Leader. That position is held by Michael Sabatino who is stepping down to become a member of Mayor Mike Spano’s staff.
Since Councilmember John Rubbo changed party affiliations, from Republican to Democrat, the political divide in Yonkers City Council now numbers 5 Democrats and 2 Republicans.
Pineda-Isaac’s next step is to gain a majority vote to accede to Yonkers City Council Majority Leader among the Democrats, that is 3 votes out of a maximum of 5 for her or her opponent that the Yonkers Tribune suggests will find Councilmember Williams her opponent.
Pineda-Isaac has for months suggested that when the 4 year term of present Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader expires, should he intend to run for re-election, she will challenge him for the office of Yonkers City Council President.
On that basis alone, her effort to garner at minimum 3 of 5 votes from fellow Yonkers City Councilmembers may either be daunting or easy.
The women on the Yonkers City Council will battle for supremacy to preside in the position of Majority Leader. The political duel will be between Pineda-Isaac and Williams.
Shanae Williams would be required to cast the first vote. The Yonkers Tribune suggests Williams will cast the vote for WILLIAMS.
Pineda-Isaac will vote for herself – PINEDA-ISAAC.
Tasha Diaz is the Yonkers City Council-member elect for District 3, succeeding the outgoing Majority Leader Mike Sabatino. She is likely to lean toward WILLIAMS
Councilmember John Rubbo, recently defining himself as a Democrat, should he vote with the Democratic majority, of which he is one, Rubbo will cast his for WILLIAMS
Council District 5 and 6 are Republican seats. A vote for Minority Leader, presently under the auspices of Michael Breen are not likely to become engaged in the Majority Leadership vote. If the Yonkers City Councilmembership rules that everyone have the right to opine and vote over the leadership of the other’s party, this contemplated scenario would be undermined only by the strong willed arm of Mayor Mike Spano which would reveal using his position as the Officer of the Executive Branch of government to undermine, even coerce an outcome from the Legislative Branch of office, an absolute no, no!
We may prudently suggest that based on Pineda-Isaac’s intentioned assertion that she will challenge Mike Khader for the office of Yonkers City Council President 2 years down the road, President Mike Khader will cast his support of and for WILLIAMS.
So if all the Democrats vote for the Majority Leader in their caucus, Williams will have a majority vote of 4 for WILLIAMS and 1 for PINEDA-ISAAC.
Shanae Williams has proven herself smart, pertinent, and lucid in representing District 1, and will rise to excel her present district even when laden with additional responsibilities under her elevated auspices.