Yonkers Mayor Says ‘Rubber has Finally Met the Road’ Warns of Impending Cuts, Layoffs Due to COVID-19

Real Estate In-Depth | September 2020

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano

YONKERS—Citing a need to offset $21.6 million in withheld state aid, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano is warning the city may need to reduce city programs and services and reduce its workforce by more than 200 positions.

Yonkers’ potential cuts come after the city’s Fiscal Year 2021 Adopted Budget assumed full Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) funding of $21.6 million, but those funds have been withheld by New York State due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, the economically sensitive revenues that Yonkers relies upon are forecasted to have decreased by $45 million to $50 million over the last and current Fiscal Years due to the pandemic, city officials stated.

“The rubber has finally met the road when it comes to the lack of aid to local municipalities,” said Mayor Spano. “The effects from Washington’s political jockeying and the lack of stimulus packages from the federal government and the state now have hit us. Big cities across the state, including Yonkers, have no recourse but to make severe expenditure cuts.”

The mayor stated in his announcement that because 74% of the city’s budget is wage-based, likely reductions in Yonkers’ operating costs will come from a combination of programs and an estimated 220 city positions, both vacant and filled. In the coming weeks, the Spano Administration will determine what services and personnel will be affected and how.

In connection with the withheld state AIM funding, the mayor said that the city is holding discussions with the governor’s Office, the Yonkers’ state delegation and labor unions in an effort to reduce its operating costs.

“These cuts are tough to make, ones that no mayor wants to do, especially since we’ve worked so hard over the last eight years to put Yonkers back on the road towards fiscal stability,” Mayor Spano said. “But, if we don’t act now and continue not to receive aid, we will be in even more dire straits in Fiscal Year 2022, potentially halting many city operations.”