Mayor Richard Thomas Weekly Report — December 16, 2017
Mayor Richard Thomas Holds Business Round Table Meeting
On Thursday, December 14th, Mayor Richard Thomas held the first Mount Vernon Business Roundtable Meeting, with business owners from all over Mount Vernon. Guest speakers included Robert Weisz, owner of the RPW Group, and Port Chester Village Manager Chris Steers. Mr. Weisz spoke about how to attract business to your community and how to bring jobs by building the workforce first. He said, “The initiatives that the Mayor is taking ……are on-target”. Village Manager Steers discussed the steps Port Chester has taken to repair their broken sewers in the face of hefty fines from the Environmental Protection Agency, just like Mount Vernon. He outlined a way to complete the work with minimal impact on the taxpayer and detailed the beneficial effects that planning for the future has for the local economy
Mount Vernon’s Business of the Year
This week, we celebrated our business of the year — Mount Vernon’s own American Christmas. American Christmas has been the decking the halls of New York (and beyond) since 1968. Recently, through partnering with our Mount Vernon Industrial Development Agency, American Christmas was able to attract an international business partner, MK Illumination, and they have brought their international business to Mount Vernon, expanding jobs and economic growth.
Fred Schwam, CEO of American Christmas, received the “Business of the Year Award” in recognition of his dedication to making the holidays magical and his charitable work with the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon. We thank Fred and the team at American Christmas for their generosity, pride, and ability to bring beauty from Mount Vernon around the world.
Faith Leaders of Mount Vernon Receive Fire, Safety, and Security Plan Briefing
On the five-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting, Mayor Richard Thomas, Acting Commissioner of Public Safety Shawn Harris, and Fire Commissioner Teddy Beale hosted a briefing for faith leaders to discuss safety planning for houses of worship. This safety effort is part of the implementation of the Project Bright Knight initiative where city emergency services partner with private and non-profit sectors to strengthen safety by sharing information and technology. The faith leaders meeting was held at the Friendship Worship Center and covered issues ranging from fire and evacuation plans to active shooter situations. The briefing also included a presentation on TAP APP by Matt Miraglia. TAP APP is an application that allows key members of an organization, such as a church or business, to securely communicate life-saving information during times of crisis. In the event of an emergency, TAP APP can issue instant alerts. Whether it be computer-based, telephone, or a drill, it’s important that all churches, schools, and businesses have plans in place should an urgent incident occur. For more information, sign up at www.cmvny.com/projectbrightknight.
City Hall Holiday Parties
Mount Vernon City Hall is a family and we are taking time to celebrate one another and share the season’s blessings. Our goal and mission is to work for you and we believe in supporting each other.
This week, the celebratory spirit was alive and well at City Hall. Mayor Richard Thomas hosted a party for all municipal employees and guests. Thank you to King’s Southern Delight and El Castillo for the yummy sustenance; La Roose Catering Hall for hosting; and Mount Vernon’s Fun Committee for doing the hard work to put it all together.
In addition to the party for all the staff, each Commissioner has been hosting special gatherings for their departments. This week, the Police Department’s Detective Division and Support Services Division held their holiday parties. It’s been a great year for our Police as they have continued to reduce crime, introduced the School Resource Officer program back into schools; expanded the traffic unit to pursue reckless trucks that tear up our roads, and continued to move Mount Vernon forward.
The Department of Public Works also got into the festivities this week with their annual holiday party. Mount Vernon’s muscle has been putting their sweat and tears into working for you with a record amount of potholes filled, roads paved, and sidewalks repaired.
As we take the time to pause and reflect on this year, Mayor Richard Thomas and the entire administration are remaining focused on how to improve performance while doing do more with less. Our goals are clear: fix Memorial Field, fix broken sewers, install new streetlights, and create a better business climate to generate jobs and increase sales tax revenue. Achieving these objectives will help property owners enjoy real returns on their investment. We will continue to fight the good policy fight for you and will fight for Mount Vernon to unlock our true potential.
Mount Vernon deserves the best and nowhere is that more evident than in charting our financial future. 2018 will see a fresh start, a new government, and a new way of doing things. Click here to read Mayor Thomas’ budget message or listen to here.
GPS TRACKING IS HERE!
Last night, Mayor Thomas, Commissioner Joseph Nigro, and the Department of Public Works were able to attack the surprise snow storm and monitor plow trucks for the first time in real-time!!! Get ready to track your neighborhood sanitation/plow trucks with the city’s new GPS tracking system.
This GPS technology works by a cell tower triangulation ping. Each ping represents a truck traveling through its route. This week, the administration was able to monitor snow plows but, soon, this tracking system will be expanded and used to enhance garbage collections, pothole patrols, and develop a real dynamic operational plan to take city services to the next level. Tracking allows to us to ensure all streets are salted, sanded, and plowed in a timely manner. Just as important as tracking, the new GPS can be used to monitor fuel efficiency, diagnose engine trouble, and re-design garbage routes for better service over the long run.
We have some work to do on our website before we can provide convenient public access; however, you should know that this GPS technology will enable us to gather data to determine how we can serve you more efficiently. For example, we can reduce the dreadful “Alternate Side Street Parking Hours” so you have more time to park your vehicle and know when our trucks are coming, going, or done allowing you to park without fear of an unfair ticket. Investments in technology will continue to help us improve performance and we are thankful for your support that has helped us deliver this new level of service.
Mount Vernon STRONG Job Readiness Workshop
On Wednesday, December 13, 2017, Mrs. Shirley Jackson from the Mount Vernon S.T.R.O.N.G. Program Career Center conducted a Job Readiness Workshop for 19 students. Students were taught the best practices for resume writing, how to interview, and what search engines to use to look for job opportunities. At the end of the workshop, students were successfully able to complete a resume and thank you letter to potential employers.
Project Bright Knight
Project Bright Knight is live! Mayor Richard Thomas has asked businesses in the city who are currently using security cameras to share the feeds from the outward facing cameras with the Mount Vernon Police Department. An initiative similar to Project Bright Knight has been in effect in the City of Detroit under the name “Green Light”. Here is a quick video from ABC 7 News to explain how the program helps to fight crime in the community .
If you’d like to participate in Project Bright Knight and help the Mount Vernon Police Department combat crime and grime in your community, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cmvny.com/projectbrightknight.
Mount Vernon Winter Wonderland!
Today the City of Mount Vernon held its annual Winter Wonderland. We turned The Sports Dome at 655 Garden Avenue into a world-class winter wonderland. The event features rides on the Mount Vernon Polar Express, bouncy castles, inflatable snowmen and penguins, visits to Santa’s House, ice skating, a holiday light show, a s’mores pit, and so much more. It is a wonderful experience for families and children, young and old. If you missed it this year, be sure to join us next year for an even bigger and better Mount Vernon Winter Wonderland!
Mount Vernon Celebrates the 1st Night of Hanukkah
On Tuesday, December 12th, Mayor Richard Thomas was joined by Rabbi Morris Barzilai of the Sinai Free Synagogue in Mount Vernon and Mr. Irwin Davison, Chairman of the Mount Vernon Zoning Board, to light the first candle on the menorah for the first night of Hanukkah. Rabbi Barzilai and Mr. Davison joined in saying the three Hebrew blessings. If you celebrate Hanukkah, Chag Urim Sameach!
Mayor Thomas’ Surprise Visit to Lincoln Elementary School
On Friday, Mayor Thomas stopped by Lincoln Elementary to surprise the students who were holding their class elections. Mayor Thomas spoke to the kids about how important it is to vote, and how becoming a part of the process by voting can give you a voice and help effect real change. The children were very excited to hear from Mayor Thomas and they learned just how serious a decision they were about to make when they cast their vote for their student government.
Listen to us live:
Mayor Richard Thomas is live and on-air several days a week, taking your calls, addressing your concerns, and answering your questions. See the schedule below and be sure to turn in!
On Tuesdays at 7:20am, Mayor Richard Thomas joins WVOX’s Bob Marrone to discuss pressing political news in Mount Vernon, Westchester County, and the country.
At 8:30 am, you can hear the Mayor on “Mornings with the Mayor” on 104.5 FM Linkage Radio. Catch a recent episode here.
On Wednesdays, the Mayor heads to Minister Patrick Tyson’s corner on Future FM Radio at 98.9 FM. Catch a recent episode here.
On Thursdays, Mayor Thomas appears on “Westchester on the Level” BlogTalk Radio hosted by Hezi Aris of the Yonkers Tribune. This week’s interview can be found here. Listen for the honest and unvarnished truth about the budget games being played by outgoing Comptroller Maureen Walker and the impact that stalling repairs of our broken sewer system will have. Mount Vernon is under a heightened threat from the Department of Justice for failing to comply with the legal order to clean up pollution in our waterways and it is time to act.
Mayor Thomas hosts “Mount Vernon Moving Forward,” every Friday between 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on WVOX 1460 AM Radio. This is your opportunity to call-in and speak to the Mayor directly. The number is 914–636–0110. You can listen to this week’s show here for a special discussion on serving children with disabilities and how we can partner with the school district to address inequities in educational programs and services. The talk featured a courageous parent who shared her struggle to get quality education for her children and how she found supportive FREE programs through the Mount Vernon Department of Recreation. Watch. Listen. Respond. And SHARE this session to spread the word that Mount Vernon is “Moving Forward” to tackle health and wellness on all fronts, especially for our children to ensure they are successful in the future.