Yonkers, New York

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Yonkers is a city in New York. It is the fourth most populous city in the state (behind New York City, Buffalo and Rochester), and the most populous city in Westchester County, with a population of 195,976 (according to the 2010 Census). Yonkers borders the New York City borough of The Bronx and is 2 miles (3 km) north of Manhattan at the cities' closest points.

Website evaluation

Last rated on Jan. 31, 2012

The good

  • Budget documents are available.[1]
  • Meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes are posted.[2]
  • Elected officials' names and contact information are available.[3][4]
  • Administrative officials' names and contact information are available on individual department webpages.[5][6]
  • Building and zoning code information, along with forms, are posted.[7]
  • Audit reports by the Inspector General are published.[8]
  • Open contracts are available, but require online login information.[9]
  • Public records request information, including forms, are online.[10]
  • Local tax information is available.[11]

The bad

  • Contract solicitation results do not indicate vendors who have received contracts.[12]
  • City lobbying expenditures are published.

Budget

The 2012 executive budget contained no reductions in municipal services or employment cuts, yet increased property taxes by 4.81%. It contains the largest local taxpayer contribution to a school district of all large New York cities. It totals $918,171,261, an increase of 2.7% over the 2011 adopted budget. The municipal budget makes up $435 million of that total, while the rest is dedicated to the school district.[13]

Public Officials

Elected officials

The City Council is made up of seven members elected to four year terms. The Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, with a primary function of passing or rejecting the Mayor's budget, approving zoning, advising and consenting to Mayoral appointments, and introducing and approving legislation. A City Council President is elected to preside over meetings, and also to act as a city-wide ombudsman. Members as of January 2014 are:[14]

Name Title District
Liam J. McLaughlin Council President At large
Christopher A. Johnson Councilmember District 1
Corazon Pineda Councilmember District 2
Michael Sabatino Minority Leader District 3
Dennis Shepard Councilmember District 4
Mike Breen Councilmember District 5
John Larkin Majority Leader District 6

The current Mayor is Mike Spano. The mayor began his first term in January, 2012. He had previously served in the state assembly.[15]

Administrative officials

A list of city departments can be found here.

Salaries

According to the Empire Center, the ten highest paid city employees work for the Police and Fire departments. Those salaries range from $231,070 to $210,460.[16] A full list of salaries can be found here (dead link).

Pensions

Yonkers retirees participate in the New York State pension system, as well as receive many of the same health benefits that they did while employed. Medical plan contribution rates continue at the same rate as they were as an active employee.[17]

Records provided by the State Comptrollers office found that Yonkers employees receive on average some of the largest pensions in the state. Police and firefighters average $62,738 per year, but as much as $120,000 if the employee retired in 2010. Other municipal employees average $24,153.[18]

Transparency & public records

Freedom of Information request information can be found here. The city charges $0.25 per photo copy made above five pages, except the police department which charges $0.25 per page for all pages.[19]

Lobbying

Yonkers does not provide any information on taxpayer funded lobbying activity.

Taxes

Yonkers collects a property tax, assessing the value of all real properties in the city. A tax rate assessment calendar can be found here.[20]

External links

References