In the words of Yonkers Inspector General, “it’s political silly season.” While this quote deflected charges of cronyism and nepotism associated with the Spano “Friends and Family Network“, it is an appropriate portrayal of elections in Yonkers.
As we approach early voting, it’s evident that Mike Spano and his handlers have created the most magnificent fantasy worthy of an Oscar. It must be the reason Mayor Mike calls Yonkers, “Hollywood on the Hudson.” Nothing is real, and the scripts are written in Colonial Heights.
Term limits hypocrisy
Recently, Mayor Spano appeared at a candidates’ night for the Hyatt Association. The mayor told the audience that he has never been in favor of term limits. However, during his debate before winning his first election to mayor, he said that with term limits you get member empowerment. Clearly, he was never in favor of term limits for Mike Spano. I guess term limits only matter when Phil Amicone or John Spencer is at the helm.
At the same meeting, Mike Spano addressed another criticism. An audience member reminded him that he stood in front of the Hyatt association in the summer of 2022 and told the group an inconvenient truth.
You know guys, I am tired. I think it’s time. We now have the opportunity to embrace a new mayor.Mike Spano – Mayor of Yonkers
He claimed that this statement was made during COVID and he realized he had unfinished work. In the summer of 2022, we were well out of COVID. The fourth term proposal did not appear until November 2022. Could it be that the Spano Family had not groomed a successor who could be trusted to protect the “Friends and Family Network” and the $2 billion in federal, state and local funding?
A flood of criticism
A day earlier, there was a Crestwood community meeting at the Annunciation School. The meeting featured Mayor Mike Spano and Council Member Breen. The purpose of the meeting was to address the persistent flooding, the proposed gas line, and playground renovation. Unfortunately, Council Member Breen was a no show. Breen’s office further declined to offer a comment.
The meeting was well attended, and the residents were clearly angry with the Administration’s lack of action. Essentially the mayor punted to his federal colleagues. He emphatically encouraged the audience to write Congressman Bowman and request funding for Yonkers. Yes, Mike Spano is asking for help from the man he said should be arrested for his vote.
At the same meeting, Council Member Anthony Merante told Mike Spano that Yonkers needs to find an interim solution. It was clearly a difficult meeting for the mayor and his team, but you cannot cure 12 years of inaction in a 120-minute meeting.
A government of, by, and for the few
Developers receive permission to build 40 story skyscrapers, where only mid-rise buildings have stood. Evidently, because the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals become packed with inexperienced political cronies. Consequently, no plans have been presented which have received community approval. The mayor has received over $700 thousand in contributions from developers. How many current residents will have the opportunity to afford one of these luxury apartments? How many current residents will actually score a job with Lionsgate? In twelve years, has Mike Spano really improved your life? It is no wonder that there must be a fourth term, without a referendum by the people.
Mike Spano has a multimillion-dollar taxpayer funded media machine at his disposal. The city spends over a half a million dollars a year with Thompson & Bender. Mike Spano has hired veteran reporter Lisa Reyes to add a professional touch to his misinformation. With all Mayor Spano’s rented style and professionalism, residents are starting to see through his propaganda. Yonkers serves the few at the expense of the many.