YONKERS, NY (WCBS 880) – Phil Amicone is on his way out as mayor of Yonkers, and tomorrow, the people of that Westchester County city will elect a new leader.
WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell On The Story
All three candidates vying for the job agree that Yonkers is in the midst of a fiscal crisis and there will be plenty of hard choices ahead.
Independent Carlo Calvi said he would cut spending by 10 pecent. “My goal is to achieve that 10 percent by a combination of different reductions and different departments depending on need,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Peter Haskell.
Republican John Murtagh says city workers will have to do their share. “Everyone is going to have to sacrifice somewhat. You’re going to have to see paycuts. You’re going to have to see concessions. You’re also going to have to see different levels of government get smarter,” he said.
Democrat Mike Spano would also look to the workers. “The labor portion of our budget is just about 80-85 percent. So, we need to work as a partner with labor,” he said.
Whoever wins the election, the next mayor will have to deal with the city’s budget mess within the confines of a state-imposed property tax cap, Haskell reported.
Spano co-sponsored the property tax cap legislation in the State Assembly. “I think the property taxpayers in New York state need a break. It’s going to be tough for us to live within it and that’s something that, you know, we will do,” said Spano.
Calvi says he doesn’t need the state to tell him what to do. “I’m a walking property tax cap. My intention is to keep taxes well below the 2 percent increase,” said Calvi.
Murtagh says it’s the practicality that concerns him. “I don’t want to raise taxes and I like the tax cap, but with the tax cap, the legislature has to give us relief on the expense side as well,” said Murtagh.
All of the candidates are elected officials or were at one point.
Murtagh is currently on the city council and he says his record speaks for itself. “I wrote the ethics code for the city of Yonkers, which the New York Times editorialized as the toughest ethics code in New York state. I have championed good development. I have fought bad development,” he said.
Spano is a state Assemblyman. “No one has more of a handle on the history and the fiscal issues of this city,” said Spano.
Calvi is a former city councilman and county legislator – an engineer, lawyer, and business owner. “I am the most qualified, both on a professional basis, on a life experience basis, on a business basis,” he said.
Who do you think will win the race? Sound off in the comments section below.