In the Bible, it is written in Exodus 9:1 “…the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: “Let my people go…” on Thursday Mount Vernon Mayor Richard W. Thomas utters the same, “Let My People Go!” But unlike the Exodus text, where Moses was talking about letting God’s people go from the bondage of slavery, Mayor Thomas is talking about the City Council and Comptroller letting his people go, who violate the City Charter’s residency requirements.
The City Council passed an ordinance, Wednesday, December 14th, to vacate the appointed positions where they do not live in the City of Mount Vernon. The mayor sent a veto message to the City Council, Friday, December 23rd, detailing his objections to the residency ordinance and the significant legal ramifications associated with such an act (see below)
Wednesday, December 28th the City Council voted unanimously to overturn the mayor’s veto and proceed with the ordinance to vacate the offices effective immediately, end of the work day Thursday.
Mayor Thomas released a statement Thursday, Dec 29th following the Mount Vernon City Council’s resolution attacking staffers in the Thomas Administration.
Mayor Richard Thomas said, “This is another case of the Mount Vernon City Council and Comptroller Maureen Walker trying to shut the city down because they don’t want change. They are trying to remove positions to keep Mount Vernon from moving forward. It’s a petty political stunt from a bitter City Council and Comptroller who still can’t believe they lost the election and access to City Hall’s piggy bank. Instead of serving the people, they are punishing the people.
Enough is enough and it is time to move on to lower taxes, a better quality of life, smooth streets, and restoring glory to Memorial Field.
Fourteen months ago, YOU, the people of Mount Vernon, made a choice to end business as usual. We heard you and we will not stop until the job is done. They think this will make us go away. WRONG! We will stand firm and fight for Mount Vernon’s bright future! As Moses said to Pharaoh, let my people go.”
Mayor Thomas vows to do whatever he can to fight the actions of the council. It is unclear what actions the mayor will take next or what cards he has left to play since on Thursday, July 7th, Justice Robert A. Neary denied Mayor Richard Thomas‘ request to stop the City Council from removing from office commissioners who do not meet the City Charter’s residency requirements.
Either way this story is far from over. Stay Tuned to BW for more on this developing story!