Governance By Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, Finance Commissioner John Liszewski, Police Commissioner John Mueller, Fire Commissioner Sweeney, Among Others Remain Listless Due to Budgets Deleteriously Slashed, While Fomenting Lackluster Training, Equipment Deficiencies, and an Insufficient Number of First Responders
The Escalating Heights of Hypocrisy Revealed Hezitorial
YONKERS, NY — March 28, 2020 — First and foremost, we are personally most grateful and thankful for all those First Responders, doctors, nurses, among a cadre of supporting medical experts who tirelessly guide us through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that first revealed itself on November 17, 2019 in Wuhan, China. New York City has of late eclipsed every city throughout the world with the largest number of people who have been infected. In Westchester County, Yonkers has as of Friday, March 27th confirmed 301 cases, though not a peep from Yonkers City Hall.
It appears since it was first learned that an employee of Mayor Mike Spano’s Communication Department had been tested and proven to be symptomatic, the entire city leadership, from Mayor Mike Spano, Police Commissioner John Mueller, Fire Commissioner Robert Sweeney, Inspector General Liam McLaughlin, a non-existent Ethics Board of Directors, Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader, Esq., and the complement of six City Councilmembers, among other so-called City of Yonkers (CoY) leaders headed for their underground bunkers leaving incompetent commissioners and the inept puppet masters who control them, riding roughshod and wantonly over CoY. Pitifully, the enormity of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is beyond the intellectual capacity of the puppet masters, and the puppets themselves. Sadly, there is no cure for ignorance. In juxtaposition to that fact, is that the deaf can read by sight or by their fingers. Those who are mute, can write their thoughts and eclipse all other capacity with logic and purpose for good.
Disgraced former NYS Senator Nick Spano pooled his selfish, self-serving financial interests with likely one of the worst persons imaginable, that is, none other than Yonkers Police Benevolent Association President Det. Keith Olson. To that end, the Yonkers PBA union leader Olson contributes $24,000 per annum to Nick Spano’s Albany-based Empire Strategic Planning (ESP) lobbying firm that is not permitted to engage in representing the Yonkers PBA with respect to anything vis-a-vis the City of Yonkers since doing so would be a conflict of interest. After all, Nick Spano is Mayor Mike Spano’s older brother. The Captains, Lieutenants, and Sargents Association (CLSA) similarly forks over $12,000 per annum. Both the Yonkers PBA and Yonkers CLSA are still represented by long-standing lobbyists that were engaged years before Nick Spano’s lobbying firm ESP came into existence. So why do they both engage Mayor Mike Spano’s brother Nick? Is this some veiled Quid Pro Quo gimmick? If it isn’t, why do they each engage ESP?
For these yearly union contributions to local political hacks we have Nick Spano “Bam” delivering Yonkers PBA Pres. Det. Olson his 15 years-long wet dream. Reality came about a few months ago when John Mueller, labeled the “Joker” for his permanently plastered boyish grin, despised by his own staff, and rank and file, was elevated to Yonkers Police Commissioner. Am orgasmic moment indeed!
There is an old saying, be careful of what you wish for. Olson and Mueller were throwing stones at and connived their way up the now debauched food chain, undermining efforts with rumors about every past Yonkers Police Commissioner, underhandedly concocted for their own selfish reasons. Despite the plots and ploys, the self-described “brilliant” Yonkers Police Department Commissioner got caught with his pants down to his ankles.
P.C. Mueller, still wearing his permanent smile, fixated on cutting overtime, forced injured police personnel back to work under the changed rules of PBA President Det. Olson’s gift to City Hall, that is, the Yonker Police Department 207c clause, which forces police personnel off the job, excessively permitting Mueller to go after those “he sees” as a threat to “his truth”. Mueller’s conduct over the deleterious 207c recently slapped 3rd Precinct Police Officer Robert McDonaugh with just a suspension, devoid of termination for taking alleged police evidence and overdosing in a radio car while on duty, albeit parked at the 3rd Precinct Parking Lot suggesting that McDonaugh is “favored” for one reason or another.
So now, while others are terminated for not returning to work, despite having been legitimately injured on the job, corroborated by medical doctors, they face termination, while others live to lie, overdose, threaten and, yes, even assault other officers.
Yonkers Police Commissioner Mueller has been so fixated on cutting units and overtime, that he and his handlers never prepared for past concerns, much less the unexpected challenges like COVID-19. Years ago and under other Yonkers mayors and police commissioners there was training for exposure to terrorist threats, airborne contaminants, viruses, as well as other blood borne diseases? In the distant past Yonkers provided medical kits which included latex gloves, and protective first aid kits and / or first responder equipment. So while Olson and Mueller were busy cutting, planning, demoting / side-lining top brass, and firing Police Officers they have now been caught with their pants down. They were evidently serving themselves rather than the needs of Yonkersites, and likewise undermining YPD personnel. Credible sources in the know advise that Mueller initiates orders on Fridays and changes them back a week later because they just don’t work as he expects. If he only bothered to study best practices that had been previously tried and failed in the past, he would gain an informed capacity to infuse his deficient knowledge with concepts tried successfully as opposed to those that he tried likely not even aware those concepts were previously tried and had failed. Despite his lack of study of what does and doesn’t work, has he even considered input from an illustrious cadre of former Yonkers Police Commissioners? After all they are thankfully many who are still with us: Robert Taggart, Charles Cola, Edmund Hartnett, and Charles Gardner.
Insiders inform that the COVID-19 virus has infected officers in every police precinct and certain units like the warrant squad. The total number of those found to be infected is 30 plus and counting among the precincts and special units.
Now Mueller and Olson are staring at each other wondering why the “troops” won’t take their bright idea of 12-hour tours. This concept was tried and proven ineffective in the YPD Training Unit administered by Mueller himself and was eventually ended by P. C. Gardner. If the Police Officers were to work 12-hour shifts a day, they would be more exhausted and likely to reduce their immune system due to fatigue. The previously administered concept is now being promoted to the PBA membership as a way to lessen the likelihood of contracting the Coronavirus. Whether one is on patrol for 12 hours or 8 hours the potential of contracting the virus is the same. The ploy is intended to gain the PBA membership accepting a 12-hour shift at straight pay rather than working a 12-hour shift at straight pay for the first 8 hours and the next 4 hours at overtime pay. YPD can reduce overtime by hiring more police; a proven fact.
After initially writing this Hezitorial I have come to learn that this 12-Hours shift has been imposed illegally by fiat by P.C. Mueller and PBA President Olson without asking the union membership if they will accept the revised tour of duty and revised pay scale.
Then the “Troops” were told they would be safer working 12-Hour shifts to be less likely to get infected. B.S.
They garnered pushback from those who recognized whether 5 minutes, 8 or 12 hours the chance of getting infected is unknown.
After all the ploys Mueller and Olson used to persuade the “troops”’ they then allegedly said that they can change the tour of duty as they were first told asserting they had the right to do so because there is a national emergency.
In checking with Reuters News, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s and President Donald Trumps’ Twitter feed, no such order has been posted.
We humbly suggest that the men and women who are in the precincts now, protect themselves as best they can for their future well-being by simply getting rid of these “clowns”. Where is the logic in listening to a union president who himself has baggage that undermines his credibility. He did after all recently close down the PBA Office; choosing to operate from his home and responding to or initiating emails. He was safe sequestered at home while those in Blue were left defenseless. Mueller even cancelled exit interviews of those people retiring with questions asking these officers if he is liked or doing a good job. Insecure and weird right?
The toxic Olson-Mueller police cocktail intended to reduce costs is the promise to assuage Mayor Mike Spano’s sensibilities has in fact already failed.
In fact, under Acting Police Commissioner and now Police Commissioner John Mueller crime had increased 39 percent as attested to on the March 3rd broadcast heard on the Westchester On the Level Internet radio broadcast by Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. revealing P. C. Mueller’s inaccurate contention that it has gone down. In fact since then, the crime rate continues to climb even higher.
John and Laurie Wiles, the Driving Me Crazy Duo, Review the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Hybrid – P400e HSE, Gabrielle M. Etzel, The Unvarnished Blog Publisher / Editor-in-Chief, Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr., Westchester County District Attorney, and Hezi Aris, Yonkers Tribune Publisher / Editor-at-Large, on Westchester On the Level – Thursday, March 5, 2020 @10am ET
Since Mueller was elevated to Police Chief the FY 2019 budget has been exhausted. Yonkersites will come to learn the facts when the Yonkers City Council begins its budget deliberations that they have chosen not to engage in despite the fact that technology such as Zoom and Webex apps exist to engage the online public to their discourse. Instead they have chosen to postpone their last meeting. By this time last year COY was awaiting the New York State budget to pass and it did on April 1st 2019. Will COY’s FY 2020-2021 budget be approved without any insight into Yonkers’ fiscal health?
We now have a deficit ridden police department whose best practice training protocol has been suspended. What about video training P.O.s facing COVID-19, and the calls for service? P.C. Mueller is presently assigning everyone in uniform to fill in for the sick personnel and claiming it will decrease overtime.
Sadly, the Yonkers Police Department, known for corruption, drugs, and lies, is adrift in a perfect storm with “losers” Olson and Mueller telling each other how great they are. Meanwhile, every “stinking” Yonkers politician (they know who they are) has cleared out of town leaving every department agency to sink or swim as they desperately open old lockers in search for protective gear which is proving non- existent. Yonkers has succumbed into every person for themselves at City Hall; cops are told to hide and just await service calls. There are simply no active patrols. Police cars are parked awaiting calls from headquarters.
When this pandemic quiets down, Yonkers Police Officers and its residents need to install new leadership from the top down because the current leadership are proven inept and in hiding.
Rumors are circulating that commissioners feel they have been abandoned and left adrift by Mayor Mike Spano and his pawns. Where are you Mayor Mike Spano? Are you making commitments with the CLSA and the PBA to screw its members with give aways to the proven inept “crackerjack” Police Commissioner Mueller or is it really the self proclaimed Keith “The Toughman Truth” Olson?
What Yonkers needs is a political disinfectant coupled with a demeanor and culture to serve the public interest supportive of all Yonkersites. The City of Yonkers’ (CoY) elected and appointed officials and employees must focus on facts, not fiction; transparency rather than obfuscation and omission toward those ends. The takeaway is as simplistic as it is real, anything else is deficient.
Lest this Hezitorial be misunderstood, or worse misconstrued, the Yonkers Tribune is calling for involvement that is heavy with concern for its citizenry rather than the innocuous bromides that arrive too late to hold any credibility.
CoY’s population constitutes somewhere around 25 percent of the population of Westchester, yet like Waldo, who is hiding or missing, leadership demands visibility that is robust in its deliverance and worthy of the office they serve.
The challenges awaiting COY to one degree or another, demands a GPS-like recalibration. Yonkers must get on the saddle and ride these challenging times with a change in attitude, and that means from top to bottom, and from the bottom up.
Yonkers, from every station in life and responsibility must speak to power with respect and receive it in kind. Governance must begin the conversation because in Yonkers it is government who have historically hindered, in fact decimated its integrity and thereby capacity.
Mayor Mike Spano must conduct himself to the best of his abilities, while at the same time engage the best minds toward that end. He must be willing to celebrate his achievements openly, as he must likewise contend with issues of contention. CoY has yet to learn how to divulge both purposefully.
Just as this Hezitorial may be met with derision by some, the Yonkers Tribune is simply a complex, albeit an innocent bystander telling it like it is despite, most often not being advised about issues from one department after another. All media must be afforded equal treatment and respect. The innocuous and ambivalent expression of thoughts heard from Yonkers City Hall, even the downright lack of truth permeating one press release after another, has been proven to be nothing more than meaningless. It is time to engage in a forthright manner to the benefit of all, rather than only the Friends and Family network that has created the debauchery that now defines the once proud City of Yonkers to such an extent which is in juxtaposition to some 70 years ago when in many respects Yonkers was the envy of New York City. Alas size is everything. New York City’s populace is much greater than Yonkers by every stretch of the imagination. CoY can excel in relevance, prowess, and pride if we learn to heed and adhere to standards that we have for too long discarded because of our personal and collective greed.
Perhaps Yonkers can take solace in reflecting on Cinderella’s slumber, who awoke to a new reality. It is not too late to open our eyes, to recognize the virtue of CoY while accepting its challenges.