Calvi Asserts Yonkers’ FY 2011-12 City Budget an “Outrage”
The Yonkers City Council last night adopted a City budget which increases property taxes by 4.8%, increases water rates dramatically, cuts teaching positions yet creates new jobs in other departments, and pays for operating costs of teacher pensions by borrowing money.
Yonkers Mayoral candidate Carlo Calvi (R-I) called the plan an outrage and a postponement of disaster if the present course is maintained.
“First of all, another 4.8% increase in taxes is offensive. This City Council is out of touch with the average Yonkers resident. In the process of campaigning, over the last few weeks, it is clear to me that there is a lot of distress on the part of taxpayers and residents due to increases in cost of living, especially the tax burden,” stressed Calvi
Continuing, he said, “Yet, the Yonkers Council ignores that and picks the pockets of the taxpayers once again.”
Westchester County has been declared the highest taxed county in the nation. Yonkers taxes have just about doubled in 10 years.
Calvi suggested that it would have been better for the City Council to search, find and eliminate “systemic waste” and reduce expenditures, rather than raise taxes. Calvi called the tax raise “the easy way out.”
Calvi defined “systemic waste” as non salary related expenses which are based on policies, procedures and programs that are either inefficient or unnecessary. “Having been around this City my entire life, and having been an elected official, as well as a City employee, I know that the City is replete with wasteful items.”
“When elected Mayor, on day one, my administration will begin an exhaustive search for this “systemic waste.” We will find it and eliminate it. I know that we can save millions of dollars by doing so. It will just take some hard work.”
Calvi accused the City Council of avoiding the task. One glaring example of this systemic waste is the excessive and unnecessary fleet of City owned vehicles and cell phones. “They could have, so easily, loped those items down to levels that reflect the necessary and saved the taxpayers millions of dollars. Their refusal to do so is truly an outrage and beyond understanding.”
Calvi also pointed to his recent receipt of EIGHT copies of the City Water Quality Report, mailed to his one family house. The report is an expensive print job with postage that combined may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Why did I get EIGHT copies of this document which even a chemist would have trouble understanding?” This is but one of many “systemic wastes” that need to be taken out. Calvi offered to show his collection of Water Quality Reports to the media.
Calvi reserved some pointed criticism for Council Member John Murtagh and Council President Chuck Lesnick. Both are seeking Mayoral nominations, this year.
John Murtagh’s eight years on the Council has given us a 61% increase including a one year increase of 15% his first year on the Council. Lesnick’s time has resulted in a 34% increase. Calvi asserted that both men are insensitive to imposing financial burdens on people who may already be at the limit.
Calvi argued, “Most people can’t randomly find additional money to pay these taxes. Incomes are static or shrinking. It’s the same as a pick pocket. The money’s gone and there is no way to replace it. Maybe, Murtagh amd Lesnick don’t feel the pain that they inflict. We can only imagine the financial course either would set for the City as Mayor.”
“On the other hand”, Calvi stated, “ I have always been a tax fighter”, pointing to his legislative initiation of reduction of the nuisance taxes in Yonkers, his consistent votes against tax increases and budgets such as the present one, and his courageous lone vote (16-1) against a 1980s County budget, when he served as a County Legislator, which increased county taxes for Yonkers by 27%.
“As Mayor, I’ll prove the known presumption that government is wasteful. I’ll cut expenditures rather than raise taxes. I would rather reduce taxes and I am confident that this can be done. This is an absolute promise. So absolute, that I will not seek a second term, if I fail in this promise.”
Carlo Calvi is a candidate for Mayor of the City of Yonkers. He has earned the support of the Westchester County Independence Party and will primary in the Yonkers Republican City Committee for their endorsement.