New Rochelle Schools Supervisor Yanks Vehicle Repair Contracts After Mechanic Refuses to Provide Free Personal Services

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New Rochelle Schools Supervisor Yanks Vehicle Repair Contracts After Mechanic Refuses to Provide Free Personal Services

June 07, 2011 - 17:42

Bonanno1When Chris Diagnostic on East Main Street refused to waive a $600 invoice for vehicle repair services on a vehicle owned by James "Jimmy" Bonanno, a supervisor for the New Rochelle Board of Education, Bonanno became irate and threatened to move school district repair business under his control to another mechanic. Bonanno is a supervisor of the Cliff Street yard in the Buildings and Grounds department. He is owner of the boat on which his son, also a Board of Education employee, painted the words "Bob Cox Sleeps with the Fish" next to an image of a skull and crossbones.

"He wanted work done for free and I don't do that sort of thing," said Chris Dowling, owner of Chris Diagnostic, a vehicle repair service and Shell Oil service station. Soon after the threat was made Bonanno stopped sending work to Chris Diagnostic.

Bonanno reports to John Gallagher of Service Master, a private company which manages Buildings and Grounds for the New Rochelle Board of Education. Gallagher has received numerous complaints about Bonanno but refused to take action against him.

In taking the business away from his company, Dowling said Bonanno made it quite clear that there was no point in complaining to Gallagher because Gallagher does not tell Bonanno what he can and cannot do even thought Gallagher is his direct supervisor.

"I do work for the school district already," continued Dowling. "I've done work on Richard Organisciak's school district vehicle. I don't need that kind of business coming from Cliff Street."

Bonanno4Dowling said he later learned that Bonanno took school district vehicle repair work to New Rochelle Truck Repairs, a truck mechanic business located at 12 Beechwood Avenue, around the corner from the Cliff Street yard. An inspection of the premises at 12 Beechwood Avenue last week by Talk of the Sound confirmed the presence of school district equipment at New Rochelle Truck Repairs.

New Rochelle Truck Repairs and the property at 12 Beechwood is owned by John Balascio of 8 Theresa Lane in Harrison, NY.

Reached for comment, Balascio confirmed that he was doing vehicle work for the New Rochelle Board of Education, work referred by James Bonanno.

"I know Jimmy," said Balascio "but I don't know what transpired with Chris".

Bonanno2Balascio confirmed information provided by Talk of the Sound sources, that he has prior arrests. A check with the New Rochelle Police Department shows the records have been sealed but knowledgeable sources tell Talk of the Sound that one involved the sale of fireworks and the other involved the sale of stolen property.

"I made some mistakes," said Balascio. "Does that prevent me from doing work?"

Balascio said he does not believe his prior arrests should make any difference.

"There are a lot of people who work for the City of New Rochelle who have prior arrests," said Balascio.

Asked if he had any arrangement to provide free services for Bonanno's personal vehicles, Balascio said he had not done so and would not do something like that. Balascio added that he has been asked about expanding the work he does for the Board of Education by taking on vehicles from the district's Grove Street garage.

The New Rochelle Board of Education did not respond to a request for comment.

There are 7 Comments

Chris is a good business person and has an honest streak. He should be rewarded by extra business from the general population.

Board of Education swines - business as usual. What nerve of this piece of bleep!!!

Why are people like this feel like they are entitled to free work or anything for that matter.

The Police should, but of course will not get involved in this shakedown. It is just like the Mafia to "request" free stuff and if you don't co-operate - there will be consequences.

I have known John for over twenty five years ,
He helped start the New Rochelle resturant and tavren Association with me and sevral other buisness owners way back when the city was broke and couldnt even afford the thank gining day parade.
So we all got together and did concert's at five island park to raise money.

He was also a great help,and very much involved with my TOY"S FOR TOT"S campaign for year's

If it wasnt for him and a few others like him, there woulndnt have been ANY parades for sevral years !

Thats just one example .

besides the fact that he is also a very talented mechanic and buisness owner,who has been in buisnes in this town for as long as i can remember.

This is a perfect example of what schould be done with the buisness of dealing with contract"s given out by the city .

If one contractor is not doing right then find more that will ,prefrably LOCAL TALLENT Like Mr Balasio

Robert Cox's picture

Southside Man,

The issue in these matters are not the City workers, School District workers or vendors who are threatened and intimidated into getting involved in situations they would prefer not to be involved in at all.

The issue is people like John Gallagher, Richard Fevang, James Bonanno, John Caldararo, Bruce Daniele, etc. who use their control over public funds to advance their own personal interests at taxpayer expense.

Too often we see people being hired with troubled pasts either as employees or contractors or vendors when there is no shortage of such people without troubled pasts ready and willing to do work for the City or School District. In my view, such people are attractive to the likes of Bonanno, et al because they are, to a certain extent, desperate and thus more susceptible to threats and intimidation.

What do you think?

Bob I very much agree with your comments about how and who with , the city does it's buisness of monitoring,and it's hiring in all aspect's of buisness.

I read your articale"s about the city offical who was demanding free sevice's from a contractor ,and that is totally uneaceptable.

What i didn't like was the statement,s about John's past that though they are true .

that Mr balasio is not an acepptable cannidate for the opurtunity to be involved in city contract"s.
I think he is the perfect cannidate.

He is upfront and honest about past sitution,s in his life and does not deny them!! that's alot more
Than i can say for alot of other people involved
in New Rochelle poltic's and buisness...

Bob , I respect your quest to get and keep New Rochell politic's and all other matters public and up front .

I find myself on this web sight more than i ever would have thought i would .

i just want to make sure all get a fair and and even assestmant.

As i am sure you do too!!

Robert Cox's picture

John was forthcoming about this past mistakes.

Now, John's prior arrests are certainly part of the story because of Bonanno's penchant for seeking out hard luck cases with two strikes against them and then seeking to manipulate or pressure them.

In this case, when I asked John about his past legal problems I already had multiple confirmations about his prior arrests. I did not need him to admit anything to run that part of the story. He was given an opportunity to comment at which point he could have lied or dissembled about his "mistakes". He did not do that.

You have read this site enough to know that had John been anything other than forthcoming the story would have been written differently. This story cannot be written without mentioning John's past legal problems so "zero" was never an option. Given that, I believe the focus in this story is where it needs to be -- on Jimmy Bonanno.

You are right ,let's just set our site's on getting people that are ripping off the taxpayer's...US...

I was involved with the parade for 20 years. This guy's name never came up.

If it was over 22 years ago, well.... then ok, if not. Let's not rewrite New Ro' history.