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Sitting Down With Spano

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On Thursday, April 12, 2018, the YMA Freedom Post had the pleasure of interviewing Yonkers Mayor, Mike Spano. Mr. Spano has quite the interesting family life. Not only is he married to television journalist Mary Calvi, but he is one of sixteen children. Currently in his second term, Mike, has grown up in Yonkers his whole life, attended Sacred Heart High School, and although he was not the best student, he confirmed that he was a very hard worker . . . an important asset to have in a Mayor. Initially, Mike Spano identified himself as a Republican, and was elected in 1992 as the youngest member of the State Assembly. In 2012 he was elected the 42nd Mayor of Yonkers, and has since continued to try to keep taxes as low as possible and overall make Yonkers the best place it can be, all while maintaining a positive outlook. The Freedom Post spent about an hour with Mr. Spano after taking a tour of City Hall and found his candor about growing up and the state of affairs in Yonkers surprising.  He revealed that when he was younger he had a speech impediment and had been the victim of sexual abuse.  He stressed how overcoming his past and other obstacles was part of the reason why he got into politics and the driving force early in his political career when spear-heading the legislation behind Megan’s Law.

“Megan’s Law is the name for a federal law, and informal name for subsequent state laws, in the United States requiring law enforcement authorities to make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders. Laws were created in response to the murder of Megan Kanka.”

 

The group interviewing the Mayor consisted of : Maria Birrittella (11th grader), Tringa Lecaj (12thGrader), Christina Ljuljic (10th grader), Leann Portillo (12th grader), Michael Radko (12th grader), Alyssa Richiez (11th grader), Junior Zumba (9th grader) and photographer Zerina Zukic (12th grader).  After the interview the group got together to discuss how they thought things went.  We all agreed that the Mayor had made us feel at ease and his answers on topics of school safety, what he considers when creating a new budget or tax plan, what influenced him to switch political parties from a Republican to a Democrat, the 2018-19 school budget and upcoming initiatives seemed heart-felt and sincere.

The Freedom Post’s sit down with Mayor Mike Spano was both fun and informative in so many ways. We learned about his future plans for the City as well as his interests. Although he has no secret hidden talents, we were surprised to know he has a fear of heights . . . but loves roller coasters.

Tringa: What is you favorite television show ??

Mayor Mike: Right now . . . Billions.

Junior: What are your “pet peeves” ??

Mayor Mike:  For the most part I’m pretty easy going.  I work really hard.  When I see someone who has potential but isn’t working hard, it bothers me.  Come everyday and commit.

Christina: What song is currently stuck in your head ?? Who is your favorite singer ??

Mayor Mike: Elvis Presley’s “If I Can Dream”. (There must be lights burning brighter somewhere, Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue, If I can dream of a better land , Where all my brothers walk hand in hand . . .)

Alyssa: What’s your guilty pleasure food ??

Mayor Mike: Hotdogs

The Mayor has a tough spring ahead of him filled with many fiscal challenges.  His proposed budget includes a 2% tax increase for property owners and a possible 400+ personnel layoffs to the municipal and Yonkers Public Schools portions of the budget.  These cuts could prove devastating.  The proposed layoffs could come from the following : 79 in the police department, 30 in the fire department, 48 in public works, 18 in parks, 19 teachers, 10 assistant principals, 56 teaching assistants, 50 bus monitors, 50 school aides, 16 clerks, 4 guidance counselors, 4 literacy coaches and 2 programmers.  One thing which was not brought up in the interview was the Mayor’s future plans once he is no longer our mayor. The Freedom Post wishes him luck with his future endeavors and will be watching to see where his career goes next . . . GOVERNOR ??

 

We would like to thank our editor Ms. Lotito for arranging this amazing experience, his staff for all of their help as well as Mayor Mike Spano for taking time out of his busy schedule for this interview.

*The complete fiscal year 2019 executive budget can be downloaded at www.yonkersny.gov.*

 

 

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Sitting Down With Spano