The Reality of Totalitarianism Has Reared Its Ugly Head in The City of Yonkers
YONKERS, NY— December 14, 2019 — The national demeanor reflects a change that is more entrenched and committed to political dogma; it is the dividing line that defines the nation by party affiliation and by generations. It thereby seems prudent by all measure, except in Yonkers, to gravitate toward national “blue”. Will a battle Royale consume the City of Yonkers as it moves in one direction or another? No! Yonkers responds to catalysts that have long extricated the fourth largest city in the state, likely to soon be recognized as the third largest city, to a different drummer. Mayor Mike Spano’s Administration has worked diligently to maintain its prowess and influence by defining itself by words that have too often been proven deficient of the administrations conduct, thereby being neither one or the other. Yonkers is the anomaly that cannot be regarded as leaning left or right. The City of Yonkers (CoY) has been meticulously moved, cajoled perhaps, into accepting a demeanor and culture that serves the administration above all else.
The “friends and family network” is a concept redefined by the Spano Administration, whether consciously or not, that hearkens to the the feudal days of “merry old England”. The relationship is known as “fealty”, derived from the Latin fidelitas (faithfulness). It is out of those feudal tenures of obligation to which the tenant owed the lord of the land his loyalty or got kicked to the curb and off the manor. Yonkers has resuscitated the basic concept of fealty, best known in Yonkers as the “family and friends network” that has become the only passport toward success permitted in Yonkers. The pledge of allegiance and unquestioned obedience is sacrosanct and demanded. Without fealty, employment by the single most important employer in Yonkers is not likely. Fealty is not only demanded of those presently employed, but is demanded of the progeny of those presently employed in good standing. Fealty has been permitted to eclipse all other standards said to be the fabric of “America”. Welcome to Yonkers.
The Mike Spano Administration continues to embellish its hold on the City of Yonkers. The one-time Republican Assemblyman changed party affiliation while NYS Assemblyman representing AD-90. He won re-election as a Democrat and went on to become Yonkers Mayor under the Democrat Party designation. From the onset of his administration in 2012, he has systematically been able to tweak the culture of governance in Yonkers. The currency to beget fealty was jobs. His administration was not first to engage in this process begun initially by Mayor John Spencer, embellished further by Mayor Phil Amicone, and ratcheted to the hilt under Mayor Mike Spano.
By understanding and appreciating that noted above, one will come to appreciate the changing of the guards as they are defined below:
Yonkers Tribune sources in the know advise that Yonkers Inspector General Brendan McGrath will be appointed by Mayor Mike Spano to the Yonkers City Court. NOTE: Yonkers City Hall announcement below dated December 23, 2019; 9 days after the Yonkers Tribune divulged the news.
He would be replacing the outgoing Yonkers City Court Judge, Hon. Mary Anne Scattaretico-Naber, who will as of January 1, 2020 preside under the auspices of Westchester County Family Court – Yonkers.
Richard Martinelli, Westchester Magazine Publisher has been designated and will be appointed as business development consultant to the City of Yonkers
Then there is the issue of domination over the Yonkers City Council. With Yonkers City Council Member John Rubbo, elected as a Republican, changing his party affiliation, even though under the Yonkers City Charter and under the regulations of the Westchester County Board of Elections, Rubbo’s party affiliation will only officially recognize him to be a Democrat after the next election, that is in November 2020. This issue comes into play in deciding the Yonkers City Council reorganization outcome.
The most prominent, self-described figure for Yonkers City Council Majority Leader is present Yonkers City Council Member Corazón Pineda-Isaac (District 2). Present Yonkers City Council Majority Leader Michael Sabatino is stepping down to take employment and responsibility for the offices of Yonkers Constituent Services for a sum of $120,000 per annum. Pineda-Isaac has gained favor from Mayor Mike Spano, who employs her sister in the Mayor’s Office; Mayor Spano was also instrumental in gaining her employment under the aegis of Westchester County Executive George Latimer’s government. The recent fundraiser afforded to benefit Pineda-Isaac was underwritten by the Mayor Mike Spano for Mayor 2019 campaign effort. It was the Mike Spano for Mayor campaign that underwrote the fund raising campaign upon her behalf. The fundraiser garnered supporters and donors who cleave to Mayor Mike Spano earlier in this month. Pineda-Isaac’s campaign coffers were embellished by over $20,000 which exceeded her best efforts of all her time in political office four-fold or five-fold.
The Yonkers Tribune surmises that endorsing her effort to become Yonkers City Council Majority Leader, Pineda Isaac will be first to cast a vote on her own behalf. The next endorsement for Pineda-Isaac will come from Council Member John Rubbo (R-District 4), followed by Yonkers City Council Minority Leader Michael Breen (R- District 5), and lastly, by Council Member Anthony Merante (R-District 6). Pineda Isaac will be voted majority leader of the Yonkers City Council Democrats with support of her lone Democrat vote and by three Republicans. Rubbo has been said to have betrayed his constituents when he changed party affiliation to that of a Democrat despite winning office as a Republican. Rubbo will continue his betrayal, this time of Democrats. It is evident that Council Member Rubbo is in the pocket of Mayor Mike Spano no matter how one slices and dices this telling. Likewise, Minority Leader Breen and Council Member Merante take their marching orders from Mayor Mike Spano.
The outcome delineated herein defines with exactitude the definition of fealty first noted in the second paragraph.
Council Member Shanae Williams (D-District 1), Council Member-Elect Tasha Díaz, installed into office on January 1, 2020, (D-District 3), and Yonkers City Council President Michael Khader (D) are expected to vote, “No”. The final tally will be 4 votes for Corazón Pineda-Isaac for Majority Leader, and 3 votes cast against her. She will be declared the Yonkers City Council Majority Leader during the Yonkers City Council reorganization meeting.
This telling is unlikely to change the final tally of any and all future issues and/or concerns presented to the Yonkers City Council over the next four years, that is from 2020 to 2024.
The only question now is how Mayor Mike Spano’s future veto and majority proof city council vote will fare on behalf of the residents they are expected to represent.
What has transpired is that Mayor Mike Spano, heading the Executive Branch of government has effectively eviscerated the capacity of the Legislative Branch of government, as well as the Judicial Branch of government whose new appointment is Liam McLaughlin, Esq., another person who knows the power and demand of “fealty”. The checks and balance of Yonkers City government no longer exists.
Yonkersites will enter a culture of totalitarianism that will gain an upper hand at first. It may also undermine the future prospects for the City of Yonkers interest in development in housing, business, and education. The conduct described herein will impact Yonkers for at minimum four years.
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