Yonkers Department of Housing and Buildings Commissioner Vincent Pice Fired
By Hezi Aris

eHezi Economic Development, Governance, History, Housing 32 Comments

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano.

YONKERS, NY — October 21, 2021 — Complaints have accumulated and yet languished without remediation under Yonkers Department of Housing and Buildings Commissioner Vincent Pici , Jr., P.E. Mr. Pici, the former Commissioner of the Bronxville Building Department was hired by Yonkers in September 2018. The Yonkers Tribune reported he was hired by Yonkers years ago based on the reputation he had built in The Village of Bronxville. While the population of Bronxville is slightly below 7,000 people presently and the City of Yonkers has grown to 210,000, becoming the third largest city in New York State, it seems Commissioner Pice couldn’t keep up with the demand of the growing city. He promised to remedy the litany of growing complaints but evidently failed

Yonkers Tribune has learned that Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano confronted Commissioner Pici today with a litany of complaints that revealed Pici was not facilitating the needs demanded by the  continuing buildout of the growing city. Rather than accepting his failures, he challenged Mayor Spano who would not accept a less than exemplary outcome of Pici’seffort. Pici took offense, and had the gall to challenge Mayor Spano’s assertions even though Mayor Spano raised issue after issue of his failing from a long list of complaints. 

The amiable, amicable, patient, and tolerant Mike Spano had had enough of the personal challenge.

Mayor Spano fired Vincent Pici on the spot.

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Another Changing of the Guard for Commissioner of the Yonkers Building Department By HEZI ARIS


eHeziYonkers Department of Housing and Buildings Commissioner Vincent Pice Fired
By Hezi Aris

Comments 32

  1. For anyone posting negative remarks about Vincent Pici’s integrity do not know him. He’s a straight shooter, leader and delegator. I’m sure he was trying his best to clean up the mess in Yonkers but got push back from “others” Good luck Yonkers! You’re going to need it. Pici is too good for you.

  2. “Vinny may be a good guy but he learned not to embarrass the mayor”?If Mike Spano is even remotely capable of being embarrassed, how do you explain Tom Meier? This guy embarrasses the Mayor every single time he opens his mouth.

  3. I don’t know much about the specifics of this incident but it seems that the mayor lambasted his Building Department Commissioner, in the midst of a department meeting. Whether or not there were valid complaints by the mayor, they should have been addressed with a one-on-one meeting with whichever department head was involved, not in front of a full complement of commissioners. I would imagine that Mr. Pici defended his staff, as he should have. I would also guess that the Building Department is one of THE most complex of all the city agencies, and I would also imagine that the COVID shutdown affected this department significantly. I have watched most of last year and this year, our elected city councilmembers STILL WORKING FROM HOME, even though there are only seven of them who conduct their meetings in a massive city council chambers. They have ‘worked’ remotely for more than a year, due to COVID safety, but still managed to do photo ops for ‘their’ food giveaways, campaign appearances, etc., but still can’t ‘safely’ meet at city hall twice a month. If Building Department staff was forced to work remotely, processing complex plans via email etc. it is a far cry from highly paid political hacks who could probably do their jobs from a barstool. Mr. Pici was seemingly courted by the mayor to fill this position and now, after significant COVID setbacks to every business in our country, Pici is shown the door, just like that? There is seriously something wrong here.

    Joan Gronowski

    1. COVID is no excuse for the mess that is the Yonkers Department of Housing and Buildings (DHB). They did a bad job before COVID. They did a bad job during COVID. They’ve done a bad job as COVID has receded. Its time to bring in someone to make sure citizens, professionals and businesses are treated with respect by this department, because for years all have been treated like trash. I know law calls for an engineer, but what is really needed is an administrator that can streamline and enforce and modernize procedures.

  4. Vinny Pici Jr. is a very good man, intelligent, down to earth, no b.s. and a committed lifelong public servant. Let’s leave the personal aside, for now, even though it’s obvious as to his disparity with the Spanos.

    There are two main reasons for dysfunction in the Yonkers Building Department and they both can be laid at the feet of John Spencer.

    First is the new Yonkers Zoning Ordinance, which was heralded by his friends at the Journal News, as a great step forward for the City. Not so. It’s a total misfit for Yonkers, modeled after ordinances for cities in parts of the country where space is wide open. It contains provisions, especially the parking requirements which would cause places like NYC to shut down and become ghost towns. In order to comply many applicants go through a long arduous process and the Department suffers the same.

    Just like the Congress that passed Obamacare (remember what Nancy Pelosi said), it was adopted by a City Council that probably never read it, analyzed it or understood it. Oddly some of its most odd provisions have never been changed or deleted since then.

    Second, there still exist today, policies and procedures in the Department which it inherited from John Meyer (Spencer’s appointee) when he was Commissioner. Most of those policies and procedures, which are unwritten in the Ordinance, are mean spirited, malicious unnecessary and designed only to generate revenue from additional fees for unnecessary permits, COs or licenses.

    Vinny Pici, Jr. isn’t the problem with dysfuncion in the Building Department. The cause is the strange Ordinance that “brought the City into the 21st century” and the abusive inherited policies and procedures left by a misguided former Commissioner.

    Sadly, there is probably nobody on the current power structure that knows how to fix it. An easy fix would be to repeal this Ordinance and return to the former one, which functioned very well for many years and to review Department functions with an eye towards streamlining application processing instead or prioritizing revenue through fees. All of this, of course, should be without jeopardizing safety, health and welfare.

    Many Architects and Engineers refuse to take projects in Yonkers because of this.

    Good luck Vinny. Thanks for trying. You’re probably better off.

  5. He I did you hear that city hall’s emails are down again? It’s been reported that the mayors email was hacked. Just ask bob cacace.

    1. Post

      Well, after I spoke to Mr. Cacace a few weeks ago he advised that the Mayor’s email was not hacked. Are you suggesting that you know something that has been denied by Mr. Cacace the IT guy>? If so, and you can validate it to me, direct email advising me how you know. The email is eHezi@Hush.com . Thank you. Kindly, Hezi

  6. Pici should have been fired the second day he was hired.

    Good job Mayor. You should have given him a spanking for the trouble he caused Yonkers.

  7. Vinny may be a good guy but he learned not to embarrass the mayor when being presented with the mismanagement of the building department.

    Mayor Spano is doing a great job- never take his smile and good nature for granted.
    This was long overdue. Thank you mayor!

    1. Post
  8. This is great if we get someone to bring the department into the 21 century. Right now it is impossible to get permits, approvals and signoff in any kind of timely or rational way. As a result, needed repairs and renovations are not done or done secretly and housing stock is languishing in old and dangerous conditions across the city. The Plan Examiners must get a cut of the Revision fees, because the amount of extraneous information they require, plus overlooking the obvious information provided has made the department a joke in the professional community. Many Architects, Engineers, Plumbers and other trades will automatically turn down any projects in the city. The first order of business should be to computerize the application system so the public and watchdogs can track applications their progress, and reasons for rejection. Of course, this will make favoritism, corruption and cronyism transparent, so I’m not optimistic.

    1. The Building Department is a mess and an embarrassment. No contractors want to work in this city. The city is not Builder friendly at all. No one knows anything there from the top to the bottom. Is there anyone really in charge? It seems they have no system of where things start and are completed. I also hear people wait months for a solar permit.. Things are going to get worse. This is bad news. Again what an embarrassment.

    1. SEPTEMBER 18, 2018 AT 2:57 PM
      The job went to Vinny Pici, Jr. like his father he is a no nonsense guy. He will not take sh*t from anyone, not even the mayor. His credibility speaks to itself. Gypsy, tramps & thieves beware
      That comment was true 3 years ago and is today. Spano keeps dumping do nothing employees into that office. How can you run it properly when you get political hacks who do no work. Maybe Pici was supposed to sign off on something unethical and he refused. Ask Bill Schneider what he would have done. wink wink. Why would anyone with any integrity whatsoever want to work for Spano, right Piggy?

  9. Bottom line….. Vinny Pici is a very good man, it’s a sad day for Yonkers that someone of this level of skill and integrity gets fired. He most likely got fired for what he wouldn’t do not for what he did. Nobody with any self respect will want this job now. Yonkers is a city of hills nothing is on the level.

  10. I wonder if perhaps Pici was asked to do something that may not have been above board. Not unlike when they pressured Chuck Gardner into hiring a relative of Spano’s who was an abject low-life criminal onto YPD. Chuck was a highly respected, decent, and honest man who chose to resign rather than go along.

  11. “Had the gall to challenge” a man who couldn’t even graduate college. Good luck in your retirement Mr. Pici. A PROFESSIONAL engineer. Something that no member of the spano family has ever or probably ever will achieve. Little Mikey doesn’t even have a college degree. He “attended” manhattan college hahahahahahahahah

  12. His father was also the housing building dept commission for many years . I believe he was a person of interest in at least 2 separate FBI corruption probes but never charged. He retired on his own . Maybe someone has a bit of info on this . I know it’s long time ago.

  13. Whatever Pici got fired for cannot possibly be worse than what those two DPW slime bags Meier and Borrelli get away with day in and day out. Oh wait, right-Meier kisses Spano’s ass, and Borrelli writes him checks. I guess Pici didn’t.

  14. What about all the complaints about Kristian Palazzalo and he just gets moved from office to office. Code Enforcement, OEM, Parks Department, DPW, Parks Department, DPW

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