Mount Vernon — Councilman André Wallace announces Wednesday at a City Council Meeting that he would be willing to host a public forum in his building over the weekend for the Board of Estimates (Mayor Richard W. Thomas, Council President Marcus A. Griffith and Comptroller Maureen Walker) so they could address the public all together on matters of the 2017 budget and anything else the residents wanted to know.
It was standing room only Saturday morning as Mount Vernon residents packed the 3rd floor of The Embassy on First (28 East First Street) to hear from 2/3rd of the Board of Estimates, Mayor Thomas was not present. As with everything else here is where its get tricky in covering Mount Vernon politics, Mayor Thomas said he wasn’t invited and Councilman Wallace tells BW, the mayor was the first person he invited.
Councilman Wallace sent out a robo call Friday evening inviting residents to attend and Mayor Thomas sent out an email blast Saturday morning two hours before the town hall meeting, telling residents he wasn’t invited.
“A misleading robo call was circulated last evening claiming that I will be participating in a budget related meeting today Saturday, November 12th,” Mayor Thomas said via email blast statement. “The truth is, I never received an invitation to attend and, had I known of said meeting, I would have recommended a date/time convenient for all.”
BW went to Councilman Wallace for confirmation of the mayor’s invitation and he responded with a statement of his own on Facebook (see screen shot below).
Either way, the Town Hall Forum proceeded as scheduled, despite the Mayor’s absence. BW missed the first 35 minute but braodcasted the remaining of the meeting via Facebook Live (see videos below). While I commend the actions of Council President Griffith and Comptroller Walker for attending and addressing the residents, and Councilman Wallace for hosting it, it was unfortunate, regardless of the reason that the residents were not privy to having all three there to address them. It shows the City officials of Mount Vernon are still divided and no matter who side you choose, the residents of Mount Vernon are the big losers.
Councilpersons J Yuhana Edwards and Roberta Apuzo were also in attendance and said a few words. Tyrae Woodson-Samuels from Eliot Engel’s office, Planning Commissioner Shawyn Patterson-Howard and newly appointed Fire Commissioner Teddy Beal were also present. Stay Tuned to BW as we will continue to follow this developing story.