Yonkers blows budget deadline due to cop overtime

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The Yonkers City Council missed its June 1 budget deadline, and some lawmakers feel it's the mayor's fault for playing politics with police overtime.

Budget committee co-chair and Democratic candidate for mayor Dennis Robertson accuses Mayor Phil Amicone (R-Yonkers) of dodging the issue. He claims the mayor has yet to request money to cover the $6.5 million police overtime for this year.

"He needs to send us a special ordinance so we can get an approval from the City Council. That's the checks and balances of our government and he hasn't done that," Robertson said. He claims Amicone has violated the city charter by failing to do so.

A spokesman for Amicone said the mayor is waiting until the current budget year ends to see if extra revenue can pay for the overtime.

Councilman John Murtagh (R-Yonkers) said much of the overtime is due to traffic control at the new Yonkers Raceway casino and increased patrols in high-crime areas. Murtagh said he's ready to vote on a revised budget, but he feels politics is getting in the way.

"It's gonna take as long as certain people who have an agenda can milk it and as long as others on the council finally show the fortitude to say enough politics, enough election-year rhetoric, we have a job to do," Murtagh said.

The budget vote falls in a mayoral election year. If a spending plan is not in place by the end of June, the state comptroller said tax bills could be delayed and the city could run out of money.

Several council members held a press conference Tuesday about the Ridge Hill project, saying it could be the answer to covering cop overtime. They said the mayor shortchanged the city on the deal by selling the land to a developer for far less than market value.

Click here for the Ridge Hill story

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