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200 Layoffs Proposed In Yonkers, Including Police, Firefighters

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said the city faces a $31 million budget gap and layoffs of as many as 200 workers.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said the city faces a $31 million budget gap and layoffs of as many as 200 workers. Photo Credit: Contributed

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano warns that about 200 city workers may be laid off due to a $31 budget shortfall. Spano blamed much of the revenue gap on reduced aid from New York state.

Spano, a two-term Democrat, plans to release his executive 2018-2019 budget on April 13. Personnel costs for 1,925 workers comprise about 80 percent of the city's budget.

On Thursday, April 5, Spano he said it includes a 2 percent tax increase, plus possible cuts in city services like police, garbage pick-up and public library hours.

Spano's proposed property tax increase would total about $100 for the average homeowner.

The budget gap for the fiscal year that begins July 1 is mainly due to two factors: state aid that has remained unchanged for six years and rising costs for public employee salaries and benefits, despite past concessions by public unions.

Spano complained that Yonkers pays much more for some union workers, like firefighters, than other cities like Rochester. Yonkers Fire Department could see the loss of five companies, Spano said. Other possible cuts include police officers.

According to LoHud.com, Spano said he is meeting with the city's union leaders to seek concessions, such as deferring pay raises for a year or two. A deferral of salary raises would allow the city to close much of its projected gap, he said. Spano said if the city received an annual increase of 2 percent in state aid, there would be no budget shortfall..

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