Mount Vernon – One of the most watched races in the 2021 Westchester County Democratic Primary was the race for Comptroller of Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard’s chief of staff Reverend Darren Morton is the declared winner with 62% of the vote in the Democratic primary (according to Board of Elections Unofficial Tally) to be the city’s next comptroller. Morton prevailed victorious over candidates, City Council President Marcus Griffith and community activist, Derickson Lawrence.
Darren M. Morton, Ed.D, CPRP, the Senior Pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church brings various managerial and administrative skills to the Comptroller’s Office. He was the former Adjunct Assistant Professor teaching graduate courses in the Masters of Public Administration Program at the College of New Rochelle, served as the the Commissioner of Recreation for the city of Mount Vernon from 2012 to 2019 until he became the Chief of Staff for Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard.
The controversary current Comptroller Deborah Reynolds decided not to run for a second turn. Reynolds’ highly publicized term was one major Civil War in City Hall full of infighting between her, the council, and past mayors. As a result, top city officials have been unable to get the city’s finances under control for years.
Tensions escalated with the mayor going to the comptroller’s office to get bills paid, and the comptroller allegedly calling the police on the mayor for “storming” her office. In March Reynolds faced blunt accusations from the mayor of incompetence and dereliction of duty and was ordered by a Westchester County judge Wednesday to pay delinquent city fuel bills. Despite complaints of the Embattled Comptroller not paying bills, days before the primary, a state judge has ruled for now that Mount Vernon city officials cannot keep $21 million in American Rescue Plan funds from city Comptroller Deborah Reynolds.
Rev. Morton stated a major focus is to create financial stability and restore the city’s credit rating.
“Our first priority is actually find out where we are, as it pertains to our fiscal affairs, where we are as it relates to cash flow. And then be able to take all of that information and chart a course forward in order for us to make sure that we are on good financial standing.”
The Mount Vernon city council races is still too close to call, but Danielle Brown has been declared of one of one of three seats available this year.
Stay tuned to Black Westchester for the latest updates in the Mount Vernon City Council race and the other races that are still too close to call.