Follow the Money

A few days ago, the Mayor of Yonkers, Mike Spano appointed the third member of the Gjelaj family to the Yonkers Zoning Board.

The Mayor first appointed the father Lewis Gjelaj, then the older brother
Anthony Gjelaj who replaced the father, then the younger son, Christian Gjelaj 23 years old who replaced his older brother Anthony.

It is great that these family members want to serve the City of Yonkers,
however they want to sit on the Yonkers Zoning Board that directly benefits their interests.

Just a few days ago, the Yonkers City Council approved Christian Gjelaj to sit on the Yonkers Zoning Board of Appeals. This last appointment of a 23-year-old young man has nothing to do with age, experience, education or the desire to serve the residents of the City of Yonkers.

This is not “the Funny Season” as some recent elected official stated. This is pure “pay-to-play” in the political context refers to a practice where individuals or entities, often through campaign donations or financial contributions, gain access or influence over government officials and decision-making processes.

An independent commission looking into New York’s campaign finance system stated three decades ago, “When running for public office requires enormous expenditures of privately raised funds, challenges to incumbents are all but limited to the most wealthy and well connected. Moreover, huge campaign costs pressure candidates to maintain political views that do not offend big money.”

It does not have to be this way.

Under New Jersey’s pay-to-play law, for-profit business entities that “have or are seeking” government contracts are prohibited from making campaign contributions prior to receiving contracts. Moreover, businesses are forbidden from making “certain contributions during the term of a contract.” These pay-to-play restrictions apply at state, county, and municipal levels of government. NJ law requires contributions over $300 to be reported, and the contributor’s name, address, and occupation to be identified. A government entity is prohibited from awarding a contract worth more than $17,500 to a business entity that made a campaign contribution of more than $300 “to the official’s candidate committee or to certain party committees,” specifically to committees that are responsible for awarding the specific contracts. Posted by NYPIRG on June 7, 2021.

In Yonkers, one gives a significant amount of money to the Mayor; the Mayor rewards you with a seat on the Yonkers Zoning Board, you vote to change the zoning for your business interest and your businesses make a lot of money…It is not complicated!

Sitting on the Zoning Board of Yonkers enriches this family.

It has nothing to do with “Age, Education, Community Involvement, or Funny Season.” It is pure money!

Visit the website below to find who contributed to both Mayor Spano and
Councilman Anthony Merante for Mayor of Yonkers.

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