Mayor and City Takes Steps to Ensure Better Financial Management of YPS

Mayor Mike Spano and the City of Yonkers are moving forward in an attempt to control the finances in the Yonkers Public Schools, three weeks after a 55 million dollar  shortfall was revealed for 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.

Board of Education President Dr. Nader Sayegh said the board has approved Inter-Municipal Agreement between YPS and  the City of Yonkers to allow the City’s Department of Finance to review all of the expenditures in the district.

Spano and the City Council have taken issue on multiple occasions with the opaque nature of YPS five hundred million dollar budget. Inspector General McGrath confirmed that his office  will conduct a investigation into claims that the district overestimated twenty seven million in this year and last year’s budget.

Sayegh says that he hopes the shortfall can be reduced to forty five million after taking into account budget surpluses since 2001 and cost cutting measures that include a hiring freeze. Recently, the mayor and members of the Council  met with  Albany leaders to ask for emergency funds for the upcoming budget cycle. However, before any relief can  be  given to Yonkers the audit by the O’Connor Davies firm has to be completed for a full look at the finances of YPS.

The mayor says he eventually wants to hold the YPS more accountable to the taxpayers by initiating a city take over of the entity. A  move like that would certainly cause controversy but would make it much easier for budget  mishaps like this one to be avoided. Mayor Mike Bloomberg took over NYC public schools soon after he was elected and was able to hang on to control throughout his 12 years as mayor.

Open Letter From Ivy Reeves: Excuse Me? What Just Happened?

The City of Yonkers will see some changes based on the recent election, and based on some poor decisions made by our Democratic leaders, mostly due to personal vendettas, revenge, jealousy and lack of vision. Are some of our leaders so dysfunctio

Ivy Reeves

Ivy Reeves

nal, immature and emotionally unbalanced that they cannot put themselves aside for the good of the people in the City of Yonkers, and by refusing to move their personal feelings from the equation, should we trust them as leaders?

We all know some of our elected officials do a very good job; we know who they are, and they are not the officials I am referring to in this commentary. It all started in the days before the democratic convention in May 2013, when the Yonkers Democratic chairperson and members of the Executive Committee did not bother to interview any of the interested candidates for City Council. No effort was made by the chairperson or the committee to find out about the character, community service experience or educational background of any of the candidates for council and council president.

The lack of interest by the Democratic chairman, the executive board and the county Democratic elections commissioner in any of the council candidates resulted in the district leaders and ward leaders not having the opportunity to hear from any of the council president candidates during the convention. Democratic candidates were left to find their own way, and district leaders left the convention confused as to whether they could assist candidates with getting signatures. Two of the candidates, including the incumbent for the second City Council seat, Wilson Terrero, and County Legislator Virgina Perez for the 17 District, were clearly being punished by the party for voting with the Republican Party on certain issues.

Lacking vision, passion or concern for the citizens of this wonderful city, we wonder: What did our Democratic leaders get from their lackadaisical and cavalier attitude? Why would they intentionally hand over the Democratic majority to the Republicans and toss the needs and concerns of the majority of the residents down the drain? Why would they not want someone who would strongly advocate for our children in the public schools, working families striving to make ends meet, seniors, veterans and people with mental and other disabilities, on the City Council? Why didn’t our so-called leaders make a decision and endorse a candidate for council president based on the candidate’s well rounded experience?

Could it be that they are more concerned about what’s in it for themselves? What have they, themselves, fought for before or after becoming an elected official? How did they help to make the lives of the people in the community a better place to live? I mean, after all, the entire clan of the Democratic Party dynasty has been in a leadership position for several years. Now look around and tell me what you see. How many of them are willing to give it all they have to protect the human and civil rights of the citizen of Yonkers? Our children, who are our future, are being left with a mess! This is not fair to them. How do some of these people sleep at night? My family used to say, “Everything done in the dark will soon come to light.”