The thing about Yonkers is that most of the stealing is nickel and dime stuff– and some of it is the result of a sense of entitlement rather than outright mendacity.
Here’s the latest little embarassment that’s been circulating around the “City of Hill” for the past several months, but has finally gotten some official attention of the Inspector General’s office and others at City Hall.
It involves Councilwoman Patricia McDow, who has been copping some free parking at the city garage on Buena Vista Avenue.
McDow told me that she had been parking her 1984 BMW for a “little more than year” free of charge, but today in a statement, City Inspector General Dan Schorr said she been stashing the crummy car there are “for at least three years.” He said she never paid the required parking fee, nor did she have the car properly registered.
Schorr said that while there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, “(w)e have concluded that Ms. McDow did not meet her obligation to pay throughout this time and the (Yonkers Parking Authority) improperly failed to bill her.”
Now, the matter is being referred to the city’s Board of Ethics.
In the meantime, Schorr said that McDow has been put on a schedule to repay the fees, extending as far back as October, 2007!
McDow told me that she thought it was OK to park without paying at the Buena Vista garage because, as an elected official, she had a free space at the City Hall garage which she did not use. She said she allowed members of her staff to park in that space.
“I don’t park at City Hall,” she said. “I let my staff park there because they’re there all the time.”
McDow reasoned that she was entitled to a free space for herself– and that she could choose to use a spot at any city garage. “That was my understanding, and apparently the rules were changed at mid stream and that’s not the case anymore.”
Schorr said that McDow was, in fact, given permission back in 2007 to park at the Buena Vista lot by Michael Dalton, who at the time was the executive director of the YPA. She should have been required to pay for the space, Schorr said.
McDow called the whole affair “craziness.”
“So now they’re saying, I owe some money and I’m going to pay them back. I don’t any headaches with that.”
When asked how much she owed, she said. “A little under $1,000.”