Eric Schoen’s Address to the Members of the Charter Revision Commission
Yonkers, NY, August 17, 2010, -- The following statement was presented on Monday, August 17, 2010, before the Board of Directors of the Charter Revision Commission by Eric Schoen as follows:
"The proposal for succession to the office of mayor before you is a bad one and should not be put on the ballot.
"Let me start out by saying how disrespectful to the public it is not to have the charter amendments on the city website. This is a simple thing to do and in this day and age there is no excuse for this. In addition, were legal notices put in the official daily and weekly newspapers detailing the Charter Amendments? Were they posted on the government cable television stations?
"How can members of the public legitimately comment on these proposals when they do not know what they are?
"I had to call the Corporation Counsel’s office and they emailed me a copy of the proposals.
"As a three time Charter Revision Commission member appointed by two mayors, I learned long ago that you have to take personalities out of your decisions as commissioners.
"The current Mayoral succession in the City Charter that has the Council select an acting deputy mayor from deputy mayors, commissioners and department heads who are Yonkers residents makes no sense as you have a City wide elected official, the city council president who should as in most communities step into the acting mayor role.
"If you want to change the charter, make the city council President, an elected official acting mayor. If he/she is unable to assume the office, next in line could be Majority Leader of the City Council and then Minority Leader. Or you could have the Council select an acting mayor from within their ranks.
"I hope that in the future, transparency will rein with this commission and that there will be no more surprises or lack of information to the residents of Yonkers. Yonkers residents deserve no less."
Eric Schoen is a former Assistant Director of Information of the Yonkers Board of Education. He is presently a columnist with Rising Publications.