Political foundation of yonkers by Nusrat M. Jahan
Judge Sand appointed Oscar Newman to expedite a housing remedy, and in mid-April at a turbulent meeting that attracted an estimated 1,000 Yonkers residents the City Council voted 9 to 4 to have middle-class neighborhoods in east and north Yonkers take in the city's minorities. Under the original court order, two vacant school sites would be converted to 158 public-housing units and one or more other sites would be found for another 42 low-income units. An additional 200 market-rate housing units would also be built at the larger of the school sites, and long-range plans would be established for 200, 400, 600 or 800 more units, whatever number was needed to achieve racial integration. July 7, 1987: at a raucous meeting, the City Council voted to adopt Newman's scattered-site plan. The vote was 8 to 5. But in November three of those who voted for the plan were defeated. Sand called everyone back into court and made further threats. An already divided city became more so, not just east against west, but neighborhood against neighborhood.
June 13th, 1988: the Supreme Court decided it would not even consider the Yonkers case. The following night the council voted, officially refusing to cooperate with the judge. Sand ordered a vote reaffirming support for the consent decree. The tally was 5 to 2 against the housing. Politics in Yonkers was getting out of hand. Angrily, Spallone went as far as to compare Sand to Hitler. Sand believed that the only way the housing plan would work was if it came from the city, rather than being forced on the city. Sand announced that only by imposing fines would the City Council take his demands seriously. He would impose personal fines against each recalcitrant councilman. To make his point even more clear he added the likelihood of jail time for the councilmen if they remained in contempt for ten days. A few of the council members had already acknowledged their obligation to build low-income housing, and agreed to terms which would satisfy that obligation. But the rest of the council members' intentionally avoided the court order to comply with their own consent decree, which clearly violated established law of which they were well aware of. They approached the United States Supreme Court with the argument that a Federal court may not order them to vote a certain way ''at the price of their conscience.”
Citizens of Yonkers did not help to make progress in the case. In the 1987 election, two opponents of the housing plan, Chema, a Republican, and Fagan Jr., were re-elected to the Second and Sixth Districts respectively. One of the four new members, Salvatore J. Sialiano, a Republican who took the Fourth District seat being vacated by Spallone, also is opposed compliance. Spallone, the Mayor, represented four votes, the majority. Yonkers became a city that was torn. Politicians who sided with the Supreme Court were threatened, and sent angry letters and bullets. Those who went against the law of the land were worshipped and given money to handle the fines. This was showcased as Spallone won the election with 29,025 votes, or 53.5%, compared to Wasicsko's 24,559 votes, or 45.2%. Spallone was backed by the Save Yonkers Federation, an organization of 43 East Side neighborhood organizations that denounced desegregation. The game of politics was being played well as earlier in the year Spallone switched his party affiliation to avoid a primary contest with Wasicsko on the same ticket. There were others who changed their mind as their conscience caught up to them. Martinelli was being heckled at community groups for preaching for the 200 desegregated housing: ''I'm for working with the judge, for getting this thing behind us and moving forward. We're talking about 200 units - if it happens. It's not going to kill us.'' The new Martinelli, a year after the schools were desegregated, praised the desegregation plan. ‘'Every child is entitled to the best education we can give them,'' Martinelli, whose grandchildren attend the public schools state, ''Under the old system, it wasn't happening. I didn't realize it at the time.
The specified daily fines for the city were $100 for the first day, to be doubled for reach consecutive day of noncompliance; the specified daily fine for members of the city council was $500 per day. Through a contempt order issued on August 2, 1988, Sand fined Longo, Fagan, and Chema $500 per day until each member voted in favor of a specific item of legislation. Vice Mayor Spallone, the fourth councilman, was held in contempt on August 3rd to ensure that his counsel was present during the contempt hearing. Even residents became frustrated with the back and forth legislation. A class-action suit was filed by 16 residents against Spallone, Longo, Chema and Fagan seeking $166 million to pay for the contempt of court fines and reported damage to the city's image and financial stability. The suit also demanded the removal or suspension of the four members. Sand said in an interview: “Any efforts not to comply with the law are counterproductive to the image of the community and its well-being. The millions and millions of dollars that the City of Yonkers has spent” in this litigation, he added, “could have gone to better things for the community.”
 James Fernon, "Housing Design Argued in Yonkers Bias Case." New York Times, May 3, 1987.
 Sara Rimer, 2.
 Lisa Belkin, 58.
 Lisa Belkin, 59.
 Amy Walsh, 250.
"Conscience and Law in Yonkers," 2.
James Fernon . "Election Victory Casts Spallone in a New Role." New York Times, November 12, 1989.
 David Threadwell, 3.
 Sara Rimer, 2.
Sara Rimer, 2.
Amy Walsh, 217.
 "4 Yonkers Councilmen Sued Over Defiance." New York Times, November 12, 1988.
 Fernanda Santos, 3.