Amicone vetoes Yonkers budget

Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone rejected the city council's budget proposal Wednesday, saying it jeopardizes public safety.

Amicone says the budget adopted June 20 by the city council would cut a total of $2 million from the Yonkers Police Department's domestic violence unit, special crime fighting patrols and overtime. The mayor also says firefighters would receive less training if the budget cuts were instituted.

"I can say that the city council did not act professionally," says Amicone. "Our city council did not do their job."

The city council contends something has to be done to keep property taxes at bay. Amicone, however, disagrees with the methods the council chose to achieve that goal.

"What they basically saved the average homeowner was $62 a year, and in the process cut out the overtime that is necessary to provide level of safety the people of the city are entitled to," Amicone says.

Yonkers Police Commissioner Edmund Hartnett says if the budget plan is adopted in its current form, his department will suffer because it needs money to replace old weapons and worn-out bulletproof vests. Not everyone, however, backs this claim.

"The city council has approved millions of dollars for equipment over the past few years," says City Council Budget Chairman Liam McLaughlin. "I find it very remarkable all of a sudden there is such a shortage."

Other initiatives that may be affected by the cuts include Boys and Girls Clubs, the Untermeyer Arts Council, and grants for senior programs.

The city council could meet as early as Thursday to vote on an override of the mayor's veto.

For interviews about Mayor Amicone's veto the budget, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra, Ch. 612.

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