The duly noticed Board of Estimate and Contract meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 28, 2017 took a detour when two City of Mount Vernon police officers physically blocked Mount Vernon City Clerk, George W. Brown, from entering the Mayor’s Conference room where the meeting is usually held.
All members of the Board were available to meet. However, when the uniformed officers persisted in using their bodies to physically block the City Clerk’s access, the meeting was subsequently moved to a different location in City Hall.
Article VII, § 70 of the Mount Vernon City Charter (“Personnel of the Board of Estimate and Contract”) states, “There shall be a Board of Estimate and Contract, which shall consist of the Mayor, the Comptroller, and the President of the City Council. … The City Clerk shall keep a journal of all proceedings thereof, and shall perform such additional duties as may be required by the Board, or by law or ordinance of the City Council.”
“As the City’s commander-in-chief, it is the Mayor’s responsibility to ensure that police officers enforce the law, not obstruct it,” says City Council President Roberta L. Apuzzo. “By Charter, the City Clerk is the clerk of the Board. If the Mayor wants to do an investigation, then do an investigation, but in no way should that hinder the City Clerk from performing his official duties. I became Council President in January of this year, and every month there has been something to hinder the work that we have to do on the Board of Estimate and Contract, due to the obstructionism and mean-spiritedness of the Mayor’s administration,” added Apuzzo.
Despite the disruption, with the Clerk present and a quorum established, the Board of Estimate and Contract convened in City Council chambers and handled the 27-item agenda, thus proceeding with the business of the City.
Despite several calls to the mayor’s office for comment, not returned, Tuesday morning video was removed 35 minutes after the incident with Clerk Brown. Stay tuned to BW for more of this developing story.
The Council and Comptroller have scheduled a town hall meeting, Saturday, April 1st to answer any and al questions the public may have on what’s really going on in City Hall.
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.