MOUNT VERNON — BlackWestchester.com hosted the Memorial Field: Quality Of Life Community Discussion Forum at the Embassy of First, located at 28 East First Street, for the residents of Mount Vernon to get answers on the Memorial Field renovation, Saturday, April 4. Black Westchester and People Before Politics Radio have continuously searched for answers, and asked the tough questions on what’s going on in Mount Vernon, including the much debated, speculated and anticipated renovations of Memorial Field. Up until now we have when talked to or interviewed one elected official after the other and there has been a lot of buck passing and finger-pointing. At this point the residents of Mount Vernon has heard all it all, all the previous campaign promises, new proposed plans and propaganda and now they just simply wants to know, when the iconic field will be opened again.
So in the interest in truly getting to the truth, so we as a community can move forward to the completion on the Memorial Field, in conjunction with Beyond The Now and Creative Direction Construction & Design, LLC., BW put together and hosted an open community forum to allow you the residents to hear from a full panel of their elected officials all at once, all in one place, to be able to ask the tough questions they have and express their concerns. Mayor Ernie Davis, Legislator Lyndon Williams and Councilman Richard Thomas made up the panel (Marcus Griffith had previous obligation) and former Mayor Clinton Young, Comptroller Maureen Walker, Councilman J. Yuhanna Edwards and Commissioner Terrence Horton were also present and sat in audience with the 100 or so Mount Vernonites who came for some answers.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_HSVoBgcpc&w=853&h=640] Memorial Field: Quality of Life Community Discussion Forum – part one [Click here for full video coverage of the forum]
One of the key things revealed at the forum was the county and the city’s role in the renovation and why the city decided to change the original plan and what that meant as far as the process was concerned. We learned that Westchester County would not release the $6.3 million remaining that it promised Mount Vernon (which mayor and others previously told BW was the reason for the holdup on the project) until the city can show how it intends to come up with the additional $5 million dollars that would still be needed to complete the project. Mayor Davis quickly spelled out his plans to come up with the money, which includes selling naming rights of the stadium, and fundraising which he explained, he has already begun to put a committee in place for that purpose.
In the aftermath of the forum, New York State Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow secured $1 Million dollars from the state, according to a press release generated from city hall,Wednesday, April 8, to help fill the gap. “Assemblyman Pretlow is an admirable example of a committed politician who believes he was put in place as an engine to help,” says Davis, in the statement. “…as the saying goes: ‘If you’re not a part of the solution, then you’re probably part of the problem.”, Davis concludes.
While BW applauds the Assemblyman for stepping up and using his political power to help brings the city closer to its goal, and he should be applauded, we should be cautious from celebrating too much or getting too excited, as we head into another election season, which brings about hope and campaign promises, we need to ask, where is the other $4 millions dollars coming from?
As promised in our first story, BW will continue to follow this renovation project until its completion and let you the community know what’s going on.