Majority Leader McDow Uses the Back Door to Get Into the Blue Door Art Gallery By HEZI ARIS
Yonkers City Council Majority Leader Patricia McDow has crossed the line again. She has stepped beyond the parameters defined for her and all other elected officials by the Yonkers City Charter. She has become involved in a side deal involving The Blue Door Art Gallery by way of Blue Door Artist Association Director Luis Perlman, and herself that is unbeknown to the Yonkers City Council yet has been divulged without prior notice of intent, much less conclusion, by the alleged perpetrators. Attributed to Mr Perlman is the following in an October 17, 2011 Constant Contact email blast, which reads:
“We are pleased to announce that in collaboration with the City of Yonkers* we now have available for the use of our members a new art gallery in the Counsel Chamber of the City Council on the 4th floor of Yonkers City Hall.” *[Editor’s Note: There is no “collaboration” between The Blue Door Art Gallery and any formal government body of the City of Yonkers].
The above quote suggests that a venue on the 4th floor was authorized to be given The Blue Door Art Gallery for its exclusive use. This verbal “agreement” was concluded behind a closed “blue door” without the knowledge of anyone in the City of Yonkers; without the knowledge of the Office of the Mayor of Yonkers; without the knowledge of the Yonkers City Council membership; and without other non-profits, schools, etc., being offered the opportunity for the use of the “available space” within Yonkers City Hall.
Even so, Councilwoman McDow chose to “offer” the said property for the exclusive use of The Blue Door Art Gallery for the measly sum of fronting the money necessary to “lay down a carpet, and to install track lighting.” The Department of Public Works (DPW) would “pay” to pull out the carpeting, and Luis Perlman would front the cost for putting up the track lighting that would in time be reimbursed to him from the coffers designated to DPW. Also, a certificate of insurance would be incurred under the aegis of The Blue Dorr Gallery through Mr Perlman or DPW. Such a deal! And SO cheap! You go girl!!!
No other likely interested party was contacted in any formal fashion to consider the “deal” offered by Councilwoman McDow. She simply “chose” a “Friend and Family” member to do her “thing!” No one has even heard of this “proposal.” There was no Request for Proposal, that is an RFP issued.
How did this “agreement” come about? Did Councilwoman McDow approach Mr Perlman? Did Mr Perlman approach Councilwoman McDow?
This “deal” is illegal. Councilwoman McDow has no purview over Yonkers City Hall property. She does not own the property. She possesses no deed to permit her the ability to “verbally,” or otherwise conclude a contractual agreement of any kind. She is governed by the tenets defined and delineated for her and all others who sit on the Yonkers City Council by the Yonkers City Charter.
Yet despite Councilwoman McDow’s “inability” to conduct any “deal” on behalf of the City of Yonkers other than to propose a concept that would need to be vetted through the Office of the Mayor of Yonkers, and thereafter approved or denied approval by the Yonkers City Council, the Yonkers Tribune and The Westchester Guardian have learned that Yonkers Corporation Counsel is busily engaged in creating a so-called “legal document” that would permit and ratify The Blue Door Art Gallery to manage all future exhibits within the property spoken above within City Hall proper. How can Yonkers Corporation Counsel conduct its business after the “fact?”
The Blue Door Art Gallery space situated at 13 Riverdale Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10701, was space initially bequeathed to it by WestHab for no rental the first year, with subsequent future subsidies such as to demand rentals below market value for the purpose of featuring Yonkers artists. The initial concept has been left in the dust with the preponderance of artists exhibited being mostly from Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, and White Plains.
Only artists who can afford the membership ($40) and exhibit fee ($25 - 35) may exhibit. Many Yonkers artists have left Blue Door because they were upset that it has been taken over by other artists when it was intended to support Yonkers artists. Only Luis Perlman is from Yonkers. Blue Door Art Director Arlé Sklar-Weinstein is from Hastings-on-Hudson.
The River Towns, that is, Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, and Irvington do not reciprocate by highlighting Yonkers artists in their galleries. The River Towns for the most part adhere to promoting resident artists who reside within their borders.
It is disheartening, though not shocking, to learn of Yonkers City Councilwoman and Majority Leader Patricia McDow’s trespasses beyond the realm defined and delineated for her within the Yonkers City Charter. She is known to have stolen city services by parking her car for over 6 years at the Buena Vista Parking lot at no cost. The BMW she parked there for all those years was not adorned by a license plate, and did not have a valid inspection sticker inside the front window, only the expired inspection sticker, thereby proving the year in which the car was “stored” rather than “parked.” A call for an investigation by Yonkers Inspector General Dan Schorr had him drop the ball and deflect responsibility and a subsequent call for justice by the volunteer Board of Directors of the Yonkers Board of Ethics who chose to fine Councilwoman Patricia McDow an alleged, though never divulged sum of $360 that was to have been paid within the 12 months in 2011. Councilwoman McDow has not paid the fine. Mind you the deliberation by the Yonkers Board of Ethics was discussed in Executive Session, that is, behind closed doors with no record to be had of the preceding. So much for transparency!
Yonkers City Council Majority Leader McDow, presently “serving” Yonkers First City Council District, is term limited. Believing she is entitled to another political job, she has promoted herself and concluded “deals” to catapult herself to the vacant “Democratic Party” designated post of Yonkers City Clerk. Should the Yonkers City Council resurrect a position for a Yonkers Clerk that would be a Democratic Party appointment, one must pray that the Yonkers Democratic City Committee with have the ethical demeanor and intestinal fortitude to deny a thief such a position. The posting will carry a remuneration of approximately $80 to $90,000 per annum. This is unlikely to happen since Yonkers Democratic City Committee Chairwoman Symra Brandon is part of the hushed plot to appoint Councilwoman Patricia McDow the Yonkers City Clerk position. Helping her in this “game” is candidate Chris Johnson, aide to New York State Senator Andrea-Stewart Cousins, and Democratic candidate designee to represent Yonkers 1st City Council District, who is a carpetbagger to the City of Yonkers, concluding a “deal” in favor of Ms McDow, before he has been elected. Chuck Lesnick will roll under the push promoting Ms McDow to the position of Yonkers City Clerk for the simply reason that she is Black, and he will chose to be politically correct rather than spoil his opportunity for higher elected office. He has worked out his own deals that supercede the need to take a stand on this issue. Yonkers City Councilman Wilson Terrerro (2nd Yonkers City Council District) will also ingratiate McDow he lust for another political appointment. He too will do all he can to get along, in order to get along. One more vote and McDow is the next Yonkers Cuity Clerk. Who will cast the defining vote? Anyone? Everyone? Only in Yonkers folks. Only in Yonkers.
Yonkers City Councilwoman and Majority Leader McDow presided over the debacle of the Father Pat Carroll Green Development within her district only to have it exposed by the Yonkers Tribune despite her attempts to hide the scam from public scrutiny. Thanks to the Yonkers Tribune, the scam of taxpayer funds is presently before the court.
Many will also remember the use of the City of Yonkers paid Constant Contact email blast service that had Councilwoman McDow use taxpayer funded software services to promote only Democratic candidates prior to the Primary Elections under the guise it was a reminder for the electorate to get out and vote. Once exposed, she went on recall those emails claiming her conduct was in error but the “crime” had occurred. There is no way to recall the happenstance. She knew what she was doing was incorrect. Had she not known, one would need to question her ethical concepts or even her competency as a elected office holder.
She presided over ESPY, a non-for-profit formed to promote minority and women-owned businesses. Under her watch, the operation failed. There are allegations of impropriety among the auditors scrutinizing ESPY’s books. McDow has been good at keeping that debacle under wraps as well.
Perhaps Yonkers City Councilwoman McDow needs to be defined for what she is. She is a thief. She has proven herself inept in serving the public good. She does not know her rightful place under the law and the parameters set forth for her under the Yonkers City Council. She is adept at covering up transgressions of developers who are quick to scamming taxpayers and homeowners alike.
Who will facilitate this next travesty? Who will undersign their name in agreement in writing permitting The Blue Door Gallery the legal right before the fact ever comes before a protocol designed to protect The People of Yonkers.
Is it even correct to give an entity that is not subject to public scrutiny in the The People’s House? How much more will Yonkers City Councilwoman and Majority leader Patricia McDow be allowed to steal? I wonder if Yonkers Inspector General Dan Schorr comprehends the temerity of this conduct and its illegality? Will he stop it? Will Yonkers Corporation Council backtrack and backdate circumstance not yet vetted or condoned or authorized? Are they not behaving outside of the law should a document attest to this “deal” before every protocol is followed as delineated within the Yonkers City Charter?
When will this dysfunction and outrage end? How much more must Yonkersites endure? Why don’t these lame-ducks fly into oblivion; must they exact another pound of flesh from the City of Yonkers?