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Councilman André Wallace’s Open Letter on Upcoming Public Hearing On Mount Vernon 2017 Budget

andreTime and time again we are being faced with misinformation delivered through Facebook and other media outlets to created confusion by design. This is a very cheerless time in our city as we continuing to air our dirty laundry in the media while other communities’ watch in disbelief. Unfortunately when misleading information is disseminated publicly, it must be challenged publicly.

As elected officials it is our sworn duty to protect the city charter and the people of Mount Vernon, which, we were elected to serve to the best of our ability. When I campaigned for office I mentioned that I was not running for office to get a job, I was running for office to do a job and that has not changed. I did not have the support of the Democratic Party or any endorsements from elected officials including those who I presently serve with on the council today. In fact, I was very adamant about running independently so I wouldn’t owe any political favors to any person, business or group. During my run for office I was asked by the Thomas campaign to join together and towards the end of the campaign I did.  Mayor Thomas assumed because we ran together means I must go along with his agenda even if I believe it’s not good for the betterment of the city, an assumption he found was wrong.  

This unfortunate behavior administered by the Thomas administration is dangerous and needs to stop. Because I did not agree to allow the Mayor to use funds that were assigned to settle the police and firefighters’ contracts for other use he attacked my character and tried to destroy my good name. He stated that “I was a crook, I robbed the city of one million dollars, broke into city hall with the Council President and stole documents, didn’t pay my workers and threatened city hall worker,” just to mention a few things.  All of his lies cost the City of Mount Vernon over $100K in lawyers fees and interest as two separate judges saw it to be untrue and ruled in my favor.  He also fire Police Commissioner Robert Kelly for not reinstating his brother, and falsifying police reports to have me arrested. He demoted Acting Fire Commissioner Ernie Richardson for not going on Fios1 News and stating that I robbed my workers.  The Mayor also fired the building Commission Mark Warren and continues to attempt to hang the Zombie home case around his neck.  I am pointing out a few things so you can see the pattern of deceit.

Many people think I speak out about these things because I that dislike the Mayor which is far from the truth. I dislike the dishonesty and lack of integrity for which he stands. I don’t believe people are bad; they just do bad things driven by their circumstances whatever they might be. I speak out because no one else will. I speak out because a lie will become the truth when it is unchallenged. I speak out because I rather die for what is right, than to live in a shadow of shamefulness.  I speak out because I’m not afraid to take the blows. I speak out for those who may not have the courage to speak out for themselves. I speak out because I know most people will never regret what they have done in life, only the things they didn’t do when they had the chance to do it.   

Now, I’m speaking out to let everyone know the public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, November 15th in the City Council Chambers and the Mayor’s letters and emails are untrue.  All Council Members and the Comptroller will be in attendance for the official public hearing. Mayor Thomas has also been officially invited, which customary that the entire Board of Estimates (Mayor, Comptroller and Council President) are present. Do not allow the Mayor’s misleading statements stop you from coming out to the public hearing and voicing your opinion for or against the budget.  Do not have your rights taken away by political games.  I am calling on the Mayor to stop the inappropriate name-calling and fictitious emails in an attempt to derail this public hearing.

God Bless you all, and I look forward to seeing you this Tuesday November 15th at 7:00pm in the City Council Chambers.

Councilman André Wallace  


About AJ Woodson (2369 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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