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.