Yonkers, NY – After many years in fiscal crisis, residents of Westchester’s biggest city gathered at City Hall Plaza to watch their new Mayor Mike Spano take the oath for office. Spano’s top priorities are to make major improvements to the Yonkers Public School System and drastically cut spending.
Westfair reports, “In the mayor’s chair he inherits from Philip Amicone, the two-term Republican, ‘The biggest challenge will be coming to terms with (the) budget deficit to try to reduce this government to a size that the taxpayers can afford.’ ” Certainly, Spano and his team are armed and ready to battle for Yonkers.
According to LoHud, “Education needs to be the number one priority of our city and it will be,” Spano said at the afternoon inaugural ceremony, surrounded by his wife, Mary, their three children and other members of his family. And both residents and teachers agree that the new Mayor of Yonkers is headed in the right direction. “I absolutely agree with Spano on improving education his top priority. In the past couple of year’s teachers, psychologists and guidance counselors have been laid off in Yonkers,” says Angela Sassone, a NYS Certified Teacher. “Education is not valued in our society today. I really hope it turns around for the sake of the children. I really hope that Spano can turn around Yonkers and get more funding for the schools. Many schools in Yonkers became Siny schools which are schools in need of improvement.”
Spano has set his sights on the city school district, which Westfair reports “has been in crisis for a number of years now.” Residents of Yonkers have taken direct hits as education cuts hit home. “Budget cuts have forced cuts in music, art, Phys Ed and most after school and sports programs. Pre-K has been cut to half day programs when studies have proven that Pre-K is a factor in students…being high school grads,” says Liz Velez, an active PTA member with 3 children in Yonkers Public Schools. “I believe that Mike Spano will make some improvements. I don’t really know if one man can change much alone but he at least has tried to fight for our schools in Albany. Albany is where the problems are. Our district isn’t being assessed properly by the funding formula.”
Spano plans to save $5 to $15 million by creating shared service agreements which include school board’s legal costs, human resources and maintenance services. Spano has a tough job ahead of him but with the support of Yonkers residents he will push Yonkers into a better direction.
Golden, J. (December 30, 2011). Battle-ready for City Hall. Retrieved from: http://westfaironline.com/2011/18266-battle-ready-for-city-hall/
Worley, D. and Liebson, R. (Jan. 2, 2012). Mayors take oaths and set goals in Westchester cities. Retrieved from: http://www.lohud.com/article/20120101/NEWS/312300061/Spano-sworn-Yonkers-mayor-says-priorities-will-education-cutting-spending?odyssey=nav%7Chead&fb_source=message