Analysis: Yonkers Mayor Amicone Continues to Play the Blame Game By HEZI ARIS
Yonkers Mayor Amicone addressed Assemblymen Mike Spano. J. Gary Pretlow, and Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins by letter admonishing them with regard to their letter of July 21, 2011, to Governor Andrew Cuomo, in which they requested discretionary funding for pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) and sports programs to benefit the Yonkers Public School District. Mayor Amicone admonished the three most prominent members of the Albany Delegation in his letter o them dated July 25, 2011
Mayor Amicone's seething verbal dressing down of the Albany Delegation asserts that Yonkers Board of Education (YBoE) Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio informed him that neither he nor the Board of Education Trustees, appointed to the board by Mayor Amicone, were consulted prior to the Albany Delegation addressing Governor Cuomo. Mayor Amicone’s tirade grew to greater heights of termerity when Mayor Amicone suggested the Albany Delegation is ignorant of the needed resources required by the YPS. His harangue continued when he stated further that he has implored them to comprehend that the YPS are desperately in need of and deserving to receive a fair share of education funding. Mayor Amicone escalated his contention that the Albany Delegation had acted on their own rather than having acted in unison and by his implied direction, especially in their communication with Governor Cuomo.
Mayor Amicone continued his verbal assault asserting that the Albany Delegation egregiously mischaracterized the cause of the financial crisis facing the YPS. He cast his finger of blame primarily upon the draconian cuts to education funding in the New York State budget. Never once does he look inwardly at his administration’s inability to earn any credence to the arguments with which he continued to blame the Albany delegation. Mayor Amicone’s tirade is a wild display of personal frustration with his own inability to lead the Albany Delegation under his aegis. There is no passion in his written tongue lashing of the Albany delegation's credible conduct on behalf of Yonkersites. Were the Albany Delegation conducting themselves anathema to his concepts, Mayor Amicone best look into a mirror, and reflect on blaming himself for his inability to convince anyone of the integrity of his argument.
Former Mayor John Spencer verbalized the allegedly unfair funding formula that short-changes the YPS District. Phil Amicone served the Spencer Adminisration as its deputy mayor for eight years before acceding to the office of mayor for the next 7½ years. Many in Yonkers gravitated to Mayor Spencer’s plausible concept of the disparate funding formula as it related to the funding of the YPS. Yet Mayor Amicone was not as enamored by his predecessor’s argument. Mayor Amicone dropped the argument for over three years time. In order to deflect possible blame by Yonkersites of his inability to grow the economy to manage the growing student population, Mayor Amicone dusted off Mayor Spencer’s concept and flogged the Albany Delegation whenever his financial resources placed his leadership qualities at issue. Mayor Amicone’s offense blasted the Albany Delegation without retort by them.
Never once did Mayor Amicone or Superintendent Pierorazio promote how to right what they assert is the unfair funding formula under which Yonkers has suffered financially. The Amicone Administration has not challenged the so-called funding formula. Lawsuits once challenging Albany’s funding formula were initiated and then withdrawn. The legal undertaking cost the YboE over $2 million yet have not been returned to the YBoE coffers. The cost of enticing a minor baseball league to play in a yet to be built baseball stadium cost $670,000 take from the coffers of the YBoE but not yet returned. There are many similar anomalies. None will be investigated; no wrongdoings will be discovered. It is these cover-ups and others rarely discussed that engage Yonkersites in a soap opera like saga of deception.
Were Mayor Amicone concerned about the YPS student, he would have planned corrective measures. He did not. Mayor Amicone prefers to point at others for his failures because he does not possess the intestinal fortitude to deal with the adversity and calamity of his almost 16 years of ineptitude and failure. Yonkers will soon be rid of this inept mayor.
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins was asked to comment on Mayor Amicone’s undeserved albeit accusatory letter of her. She wrote the following statement:
“There are currently many issues and challenges facing the Yonkers Public School District that I am aware of and continue to work to address at the State level, stated Senator Stewart-Cousins. “The letter to the Governor is just one of a myriad of letters, legislation, requests, and initiatives we, individually and as a delegation, have put forth to help Yonkers and the school district. We all continue the fight to appropriately address the varied needs of the 26,000 students served by the district. As a matter of course, and especially during these difficult fiscal times, we better serve the people when we work together. The letter and our efforts to date demonstrate that, as legislators, we will continue to fight in every way and on all fronts to help Yonkers' schools. To that end, I look forward to working with the Mayor-- for the childrens' sake,” concluded Senator Stewart-Cousins.
Assemblyman Mike Spano’s office was asked to comment over Mayor Amicone’s letter. A response will be posted if/when received. Assemblyman Pretlow was not asked for comment because he has only once in 11 years responded to a question of him by this reporter and that was only based on a face to face confrontation in the City of Mount Vernon.
Read the Mayor’s letter herein and the Albany Delegation’s letter addressed to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. Download Letter from Mayor Amicone re Funding for Pre-K and Sports Programs 7-25-11