Mt. Vernon Public Library Welcomes Two New Trustees, Replacing Morton and Johnson Whose Terms Expired

Malcolm Clark, Judy Williams-Davis and Oscar Davis Jr. after winning the MVPL Budget & Trustee Election, Tuesday, May 8. 2018 [Black Westchester]

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y – Wednesday night, The Mount Vernon Public Library Board of Trustees welcomed incumbent Oscar Davis Jr. and two new trustees, Judy Williams-Davis and Malcolm Clark to the board. They were sworn in by Mount Vernon City Court Judge Nichelle A Johnson, in the Grace Greene Baker Community Room. Both trustees are longtime residents of Mount Vernon.

Deputy Corporation Counsel for City of Mount Vernon Brian Johnson and Rev. Dr. Darren M. Morton – Pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church (141 S 9th Ave) decided not to seek re-election. Both were original members of the board.

“There is a building on 9th Ave called Macedonia Baptist Church, that needs me,” Morton said Wednesday night at the Annual Re-Organizational Meeting. Macedonia is a staple and historic church in Mount Vernon.

The Board of Trustees responsibility is to “provide a safe, accessible facility where people, information, and ideas come together to enrich lives and build community, and where lifelong habits of learning, self-improvement and self-expression are championed”, according to their mission statement online.

The Re-Organizational Meeting was standing room only. The room was filled with love and positive vibes. It felt like the old Mount Vernon all over again.

Malcolm Clark is a product of Levister Towers and the Mount Vernon School System. He is a 2013 graduate from John Jay University, and volunteers at the My Brothers Keepers Intitiave.

“Thank you to everyone who came out tonight for the swearing-in ceremony,” Malcolm Clark shares with Black Westchester. “Happy to be Chair of the Policy & Governance committee and Strategic Planning for the Library. Looking forward to working on our Marketing and Technology committees as well.

Judy Williams-Davis served 20 years in city government. She was the Human Resource Commissioner under the Mayor Ernest D. Davis administration and co-founder of Arts on Third Festival.

“Malcolm Clark and Judy Williams-Davis welcome abroad,” Oscar Davis shared on Facebook. “Now the real work begins.”

This is the first time both trustees have ever been elected to office.

Oscar Davis was not only re-elected to the board but re-elected as President of the board as well. Oscar is fixture in the community and has served Mount Vernon for many years in multiple capacities. Newly elected Vice President of the board, Cathlin Gleason praised Oscar for his hard work and dedication to the library.

The board also saluted the staff members who are a part of the graduating class of 2018
Kojo Gordon (SUNY Purchase)
Doris Hackett (Clarion University)
Jade Hackett (SUNY Purchase)
Ja-zhyoun Laing (Lehman)
Bre’Anna McQueen (MVHS)
Dezhaun Morgan (Thornton High School)
Justin Scott (MVHS)

After listening and watching these trustees, I think they bring a broad and varied experience to the board, which gives them a good insight into the communities and what they need to do to improve the programs.

However, the board isn’t shy from controversy of its own. Last year, three former Mount Vernon Public Library employees have accused the library’s trustees of creating a hostile and abusive work environment. Gary Newman, president of the library’s union chapter told The Journal News “I think it’s fairly safe to say all three of them are disgruntled employees”. “If there was a toxic environment, it was while we had the previous director. Her departure alleviated that.”

Since then, the board has elected a new director, Ms. Evania Thompson Esq.

The board also paid homage to the late great, Ms. Linda Bryant. Linda was one of the original Board Trustees and a 40 year resident. She worked at Iona college for 20 years as an enrollment officer. Ms. Bryant passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Feb. 29, 2016 at the age of 62.

In May, voters approved a $4.7 million budget for the library.

Mount Vernon Public Library is the central library for all of Westchester County. The trustees serve a 4 year term, with no pay.

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