Yonkers ‘Held Hostage’ by Senate Fight

ALBANY—As the State Senate dithers, Yonkers is "running on fumes," a spokesman for Mayor Phil Amicone said.

"We're going to be the first casualty of this political war," David Simpson, the spokesman, said. "The whole city is being held hostage."

Yonkers needs the State Legislature to reauthorize its mortgage-recording tax as well as its income tax. Both kick in later this year, but Simpson explained that because Yonkers operated under a financial-control board in past decades, its budget must be certified each year by the Office of the State Comptroller.

"He has said he is not going to certify Yonkers' budget without all the revenue sources being accounted for," Simpson said. "We're running on fumes. We're running on money that is essentially surplus from that last fiscal year, and it's going to run out in a few weeks."

Yonkers is represented by Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Jeff Klein, both Democrats. Simpson said that Amicone has been in "constant contact" with Stewart-Cousin, but Klein hasn't returned his calls.

"Considering what's at stake, it would nice to get Senator Klein to return the mayor's phone call," Simpson said.

I spoke to Klein, who said he talked to Amicone on May 14 and June 1. He said he was not aware he had called since the chamber was thrown into turmoil in an alleged floor-coup on June 8.