Mount Vernon – Mayor Richard W. Thomas unveiled his preliminary budget proposal for 2018 Fiscal Year for the City of Mount Vernon that would give himself a double-digit percent raise, increase public safety ranks and would use a chunk of the rainy-day (contingency) fund to pay for increased spending.
The proposed $118.3 million budget includes funding for a dozen new police officers and restores funding for a Police Commissioner, “allowing the city to recruit a talented visionary to lead the department.” It also would add five new firefighters and restore an Inspector General.would add a dozen new police officers, five firefighters and restore funding for a police commissioner and an inspector general.
“This week, my administration unveiled our budget proposal for 2018. Our proposal prioritizes public safety,” Mayor Thomas says in a statement. “Our proposal protects and provides for our young people. Our proposal advances transparency and strengthens constituent services. Moreover, our proposal supports a government of professional individuals who will serve the public with energy and passion. More than half of our appropriations cover mandated costs for pensions and other government obligations. Our net budget request is virtually the same as last year. Unfortunately, the political gridlock over the past twenty months has now imposed upon the city unnecessary and once-avoidable costs. Our budget is designed to pay for itself by working for you.”
Mayor Thomas submission of his proposed budget is only step one in the budget process. The proposed budget would have to go through the Board of Estimates (Mayor Thomas, Council President Apuzo and Comptroller Maureen Walker, who will be working on her last budget for the city) and then voted on by the City Council. This is where the fun began last year, which led to a highly publicized battle over the 2017 budget pitting the Mayor against both the City Council and the Comptroller.
Will all parties involved find a way to work together or will we have a continuation of last years shenanigans, only time will tell? This time last year residents begin to get a lot of conflicting information about the budget over the following month. The Mayor and in return the City Council & the Comptroller started utilizing several methods to get the word out including email blast, social media and budget town hall meetings it’s amazing how many still have no idea what’s going on. Many residents are hoping not to have a repeat of 2017.
That being said, I can tell you two things you can count on. 1. This is just merely the first step and is far from the official budget that will be finally submitted and 2. Black Westchester will keep score and give you a play-by-play! Below is the preliminary 2018 proposed budget submitted by Mayor Thomas.