Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano has taken a look back at 2022 and writes about the city’s aspirations and achievements. In 2022, the Yonkers City Council voted to extend term limits, setting the stage for Spano to run for a fourth term should he so choose. Here is how Spano views 2022 and welcomes 2023.
“Yonkers enjoyed a phenomenal 2022, with great accomplishments resulting from years of careful planning. This wasn’t a random occurrence. From education to public safety, we harvested the fruits of our taxpayers’ major investments in our schools, police, and environment.
“Crime was a dominant topic in the midterm elections, yet in Yonkers crime fell almost 50% since 2012. In October, WalletHub.com declared Yonkers the sixth safest city in the country after an analysis of crime statistics in 180 cities. We also made strides in developing a police department that reflects the communities it serves by hiring one of our most diverse classes of new police officers.
“With education, nothing demonstrated quality better than our Class of 2022, whose students achieved a graduation rate of more than 90% and received a stunning $120 million in college scholarships. That momentum continued with the summer’s groundbreaking ceremony at the Justice Sonia Sotomayor school and the signed lease for a high school at the former Rising Ground campus that will focus on television and media arts.
“Tremendous support for public parks included new fitness centers at Dunn and Columbus parks and a sensory garden at Grant Park. The reopening of the long-dormant Henning Park symbolized a resurgent Yonkers that now has the means to open a new, 3-acre waterfront park in the Ludlow neighborhood that will include a boat launch. A new soccer pitch at Pelton Park wasn’t enough for our children—we also secured them free soccer lessons from the prestigious New York City Football Club.
“Stewardship of the environment was central to the 2022 efforts, including new initiatives for paint recycling, electric leaf blower rebates and food-scraps recycling. New green-building rules require developers to make their parking facilities ready for electric vehicles.
“All these improvements are attracting outside investors, who routinely visit in search of opportunities. A huge coup was the January opening of the first phase of the $500 million+ Great Point/Lionsgate Studios, which cements Yonkers’ standing as Hollywood on Hudson. In May, we celebrated Extell Development’s groundbreaking for the $585 million Hudson Piers project, the largest residential redevelopment project in Westchester County that will eventually deliver about 1,400 luxury and affordable units.
“In 2022 alone, the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency incentivized about $354 million in private investments that are projected to create more than 1,000 construction jobs and nearly 500 units of housing.
“Many of our accomplishments did not make headlines during a year of stock market gyrations, a European war, gas-price shocks, fears of recession, a falling housing market and new viruses.
“Nonetheless, Yonkers rose steadily.
“We should all look back at our collective achievements, congratulate ourselves, and aim even higher in 2023. Happy New Year.”