Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano delivers optimistic State of the City address

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano delivered his 2024 State of the City address on Wednesday night, painting an optimistic future for the city.

Jonathan Gordon

Mar 14, 2024, 12:36 AM

Updated 32 days ago

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Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano delivered his 2024 State of the City address on Wednesday night, painting an optimistic future for the city.
"I see this time as a chance to build upon the foundation we’ve created for ourselves," Spano said. "We now can stand on the summit with little in our way and declare, this is our time – our time to hit our stride and our time to reach our fullest potential."
His speech covered a wide range of topics and achievements over the last year.
Here are the big takeaways:
PUBLIC SAFETY
Spano said crime is down 24% since 2011 and highlighted the work of the city's police department.
The city opened the AWARE Room last year. It is a central hub of all citywide data, that allows first responders to track down suspects quicker and even helps find missing people. Spano said the technology helped police respond to 700 calls last year alone.
The city is also planning to invest in new police technology, including GPS trackers to keep officers and pedestrians safer during pursuits and an all-purpose drone to provide first responders a bird’s-eye view of any situation.
"You put the best police together with the best technology, and you have a city that’s not just one of the safest of its size in the nation, but a city that’s going to stay that way," Spano said.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Spano said the city is targeting illegal smoke shops and shut down a dozen of them last year.
They are also cracking down on reckless driving and gave out 8,600 tickets for illegally passing a school bus in the last four months alone.
"Quality of life issues remain a top priority for our police department," Spano said.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The mayor touted his administration's promise to build more housing and said he helped approve over 1,950 new housing units last year, nearly 40% of which were affordable, according to Spano.
Spano also discussed the city's bid for one of New York's three downstate full casino gaming licenses. He hopes this is the year the dream of expanding MGM Resorts hits it big.
"We’ve supported this historic property for 125 years and I’m excited about the significant impact full-gaming will have on our city for years to come," Spano said.
The mayor also highlighted the city's growing film industry which he said brought in over $300,000 in revenue last year.
EDUCATION
Spano called on the community to continue putting pressure on Albany to give more state aid for public schools to Yonkers. Later this year the city is prepared to open up its first new school in decades.
"A city’s future is only as good as its next generation, which is why we are so proud of the progress our schools have made, and why we keep making them better," Spano said.
Spano wrapped up his hour-long speech by embracing the city's diversity and painting an optimistic picture of the city's future.
"Now is the time to fight for the future of our students and schools; support our public safety and community policing," Spano said. "Now is the time for the investments in our economy to flourish and bring even more prosperity. Now is the time to embrace the diverse tapestry of this beautiful city. And now is the time to be proud of the path we’ve traveled together and the one waiting for us to conquer together."


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