The ‘Formula’ Hezitorial
WASHINGTON, DC — March 10, 2021 -The numbers reveal the value this largesse will have on communities and the people who reside within those boundaries.
Mount Vernon….$ 42.63 million
New Rochelle….$ 36.19 million
Utica……………..$ 63.99 million
White Plains……$ 21.98 million
Yonkers………….$ 88.99 million
Can you see the pain the numbers will exact? But Senator Schumer is slick enough to gloss over the numbers explaining that New York’s metropolitan cities will get $6.14 billion, counties will receive $3.9 billion, and smaller cities, towns and villages will receive $825 million. New York State will also receive $358 million from the state and local fund for building out broadband infrastructure. It is estimated that New York State’s agencies and authorities will receive over $30 billion from the American Rescue Plan, on top of the funds from the state and local fiscal relief fund. In the background of these LARGE numbers, remember that Yonkers will still ONLY receive $88.99 million. It seems Senate Majority Leader Schumer has learned to admonish and chastise the City of Yonkers in the same dismissive manner as have other elected officials one would have hoped would after my 21 years on the Yonkers city streets found a way to re-structure the so-called formula that forces Yonkers to get so much less per population than the other four of the Big Five school districts. Has the City of Yonkers squandered its credibility in such a manner that we suffer financially for at minimum over two decades? Perhaps New York State doesn’t trust us. What have we done to be dismissed without even a “sorry”. Yet Yonkers has not been singled out completely. Ossining is suffering the same plight, Port Chester, too. even Utica. Why? Have all the communities mentioned done something wrong? I don’t think so. Perhaps our elected officials have been the ones to do something wrong. When will they figure it out? When will we figure out they are not serving us well? And when will we say enough is enough? When will we vote for people who will deliver on their promises during the election season and when will we kick them out the door by casting our vote for another seemingly credible candidate who claims they can deliver? Will we maintain our vigilance when the fail and will we praise and thank them when they succeed? Your vote matters. Our elected officials need to learn that you won’t take it any more. It is their job to bring home the bacon. They can take the bus to Albany. We need not go with them to hold their hand while they ready of bring up the issue that Yonkers and other communities in Westchester County are not getting a fare share of the money allocated to New York State. Let us not forget that one sum is sent to the State of New York. The hackneyed formula is instituted in Albany and that is how we get less than our fair share. Ossining can so so as well. Utica, too, Also Port Chester.
I think the elected officials need to create one formula that is equal percentage wise in every manner. In other words the funds allocated by the Federal government must be designated by a formula, such as the last census. Then the state would divide the percentage of the funds at hand among all the communities. They will each get the same percentage as does every community. So Ossining and Bronxville, and New Rochelle, and Utica, and yes, even Yonkers would get the same percentage cut of the funds the Federal government has returned to the state.
Thereafter it becomes the responsibility of every community to spend the funds wisely. Simple and clear and doable.
So when will Senate Leader Schumer get it? He should have gotten it before he succumbed to the “formula” that has maligned the capacity of one community after the other. So perhaps I should lighten up a bit with all due respect so that Sen. Schumer can figure out what “formula” he will institute so that every community has an equal opportunity for success. 2022 is not that far off. Perhaps the senator should realize he is up for re-election every two years. He can mess up budgets for just so long. The public is wiser than ever.
PLEASE NOTE: “Village AND town governments will be receiving a direct allocation of federal assistance, as intended by the legislation, but village amounts are not included in the breakdown because of the complications of calculating those amounts until a process is put in place to divvy up funds between overlapping governments. The town amount listed in the breakdown does capture the village amount, as the town dollar amount reflects the entire population of the town, which will include the village(s). Identification of eligible governments and distribution of assistance across units with overlapping populations will be decided by the Department of Treasury in implementation.”
That’s so logical, yet when one looks at the bigger picture it is maligned. It doesn’t serve the community. Since that is a known fact, who does it serve? If so, why are they permitted to gain access to funds relegated for governments to serve their constituents. Whew, that doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?
Schumer goes on to say, “Eligible Uses of Funds by state and local governments: Costs associated with responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including but not limited to, assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality.
“To support workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers or by providing grants to eligible employers that have eligible workers who perform essential work.
“To cover revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.
“Funds may NOT be used by states or localities to cover the costs of pension funds. States may NOT use funds to offset a reduction in taxes.
‘Sounds good doesn’t it. Yet everyone knows that pension funds get padded year after year. Who is watching the hen house? Where have they been?
And who pray tell will make sure no hanky-panky is taking place? Perhap no one? I think so. Why? I don’t know!
And why did Mr. Schumer’s office not send us the report he divulged yesterday publicly? Does he not want Yonkersites to know the “real deal”. It proves one thing, Yonkers is suffering its plight from within and without yet I have not heard the rationale for this conduct. Have you? If so, please enlighten me.
The takeaway is redundant but unexplained. Why? It looks like even the Feds use a formula that screws Yonkers as opposed to Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. Yonkers gets less than half of what Syracuse and Rochester get and only slightly more than 1/4 of what Buffalo gets. Based on all these facts, I wonder how and who came up with this deleterious formula? Shame on them for formulating it and shame on Yonkersites for tolerating this outrageous reality!!!