Mayor Richard Thomas Weekly Report — December 23, 2017
Dear Mount Vernon Friends and Family -
It is my hope that you are enjoying the holiday season and spending time with your loved ones. This time of year is often hectic and it can be easy to lose track of what is truly important.
While I spend time with my wife and kids, I grow deeply concerned about our city’s fiscal future. The federal tax overhaul has created a serious parade of problems ranging from cuts to education to confusion on the real impact of the loss of property tax deductions on the middle class.
As Mayor, it is my obligation to do what’s best for the people of Mount Vernon and think long-term about our overall health, safety, and finances. This heightens the need to address the hefty environmental fines we face from the U.S. Department of Justice. Now is a crucial time. If Mount Vernon does not act in a fiscally-responsible manner, the city’s financial obligations will only get bigger, future budgets get squeezed further, property values will plummet, and vital services cut.
I am working through this holiday season to continue to collaborate with the City Council and Comptroller Maureen Walker to help them understand how important it is for us to get this budget right. We need to pass the Cable contract before deregulation and the loss of net neutrality allows telecoms to jack up the monthly price while throttling services down. We must increase staffing so the technology investments in the Department of Public Works, Buildings, Police, and Fire accomplish their goals of improving efficiency and strengthening services. We must be prepared to handle these environmental mandates and provide you with the Clean Climate Future we all deserve.
The budget is not over. The threat is real. And the administration is committed to fighting for you. Read more here about the threats contained in the “alternative” budget proposal and why we must do better.
Mayor Richard Thomas
Tell the City Council to Give Seniors Cheaper Cable Now!
The Cable Contract has been sitting on the desk of the City Council since May of 2016. Their refusal to take action for the past year and a half has cost seniors and income-challenged residents hundreds of dollars a month in unnecessary fees and bills that could have been avoided. In addition, Mount Vernon is losing out on over $2 million in annual revenue for the city. These big cable companies should pay for the privilege of being in our city and the City Council can make them do it. Call the City Council today at 914–665–2348 and tell them you want them to pass the Cable Contract now!
Mount Vernon DPW Weekly Update #FixOurSewers
While you are out doing your holiday shopping, Mount Vernon’s muscle is clearing sewer lines and alleviating congestion in infrastructure that has been blocked for decades. This week, DPW Commissioner Joseph Nigro and Special Assistant Damani Bush give us an inside look into the complicated logistics that come into play when addressing decades-old sewer problems. We are all tired of the smell from the Hutchinson River and the good news is, is that the problem is getting cleared up. Getting these sewer issues addressed and revitalizing Mount Vernon’s greenway is a priority of the Thomas Administration. Mayor Thomas and his staff are continuing to make progress on the repairs; however; to fully complete the work that needs to be done, Mount Vernon must invest more in technology and staffing. This holiday season, we are fighting to give you the Mount Vernon you deserve. Click here for a detailed look at the sewer work and here for an update on the budget.
Gang members indicted in Shamoya McKenzie Murder
On Thursday, federal prosecutors indicted 12 gang members on federal charges, including the murder that broke Mount Vernon’s heart, the senseless slaying of Shamoya McKenzie. Mayor Richard Thomas thanks the Mount Vernon Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Justice for their vigilance in wrangling known criminals into court to face the music from their wrap-sheet.
“Without their assistance, crimes of the past would have gone unanswered against the backdrop of a street culture “no-snitching” silence. The work of our Community Policing efforts is paying dividends, stepping into the void left behind by deplorable gang members, to provide positive role-model examples for our kids and show them a different path in life. Our hearts remain with Shamoya’s mother, Nadene, and the entire McKenzie family. Their pain and sacrifice can never be fully known, but it will always be felt for years to come. We pray for their strength, solace, and fortitude as we journey with them forward.”
The Shamoya McKenzie Foundation Celebrates the Life of Shamoya McKenzie
On Saturday, December 30, 2017, at 3:00 pm, the Shamoya McKenzie Foundation will celebrate her life. People are invited to gather at the location where young Shamoya lost her life for prayer and community togetherness, 3rd Street and Pease Street
From 4:00–6:00 pm there will be a service at Macedonia Baptist Church
141 S 9th Ave, Mt Vernon, NY 10550
Then, Sunday, December 31, 2017, at 11:00 am at the Bronxwood International Church of God, there will be a follow-up service.
3232 Lurting Avenue, Bronx, NY
2017 Mount Vernon Police Department Heroes and Helpers
This past week, the Mount Vernon Police Department and Target partnered to bring the Heroes & Helpers program once again to the city. Officers of the Mount Vernon Police Department treated twenty area young people to a holiday shopping spree at Target, gifting each of them a gift card. Students from Mount Vernon High School, our Youth Bureau’s STEP-UP! Youth program, and other children in the community were able to purchase holiday gifts for their friends and families. This is another way the MVPD is engaging in community policing and bridging gaps on both sides of the badge.
Mayor Richard Thomas Holiday Decorations Contest
What to show off your holiday spirit? Let us know because we are looking for the brightest, boldest, most festive house or apartment in town!
Tomorrow night, Mayor Richard Thomas and city officials will be awarding the prettiest house in town with the “Best Decorated” home award.
If you think you, or your neighbors, have got the greatest house, let us know. Tweet us at @mayorrichthomas; Facebook us or email MayorThomas@cmvny.com. We want to hear from you as we scour the streets!
MVPD’s Weekly Crime Stat Update — December 15, 2017
The Mount Vernon Police Department would like to wish you a very Happy Holidays! This weekly update spotlights Detective Michael Plunket, head instructor of our training division, and the work his division does to keep Mount Vernon’s Finest on point. Detective Plunket is involved with training a wide array of teams within our MVPD including our School Resource Officers, our Civilian Police Academy, defensive tactics for the overall force, and more. Chief Richton Ziadie also updates us on Mount Vernon’s crime stats, down 27% over the last 5 years.
Mayor Richard Thomas Delivers New TV’s to the Doles Center and the Armory
On Wednesday, Mayor Richard Thomas headed to the Armory and the Doles Center to deliver brand-new, flat-screen TV’s to the seniors just in time for the holidays. The seniors at the Doles Center and Armory had gone without small things that make a huge difference like an exercise facility and TV’s for entertainment for too long. Our greatest generation deserves investment and commitment from us and we will continue to advocate for an increase in programming and services.
Mayor Richard Thomas Visits Edward Williams School with a Special Guest
On Thursday, December 21, 2017, Mayor Richard Thomas and a special guest, Santa Claus, surprised the good boys and girls at Lincoln School with special gifts. Free candy canes and holiday pictures were given out by the Old Saint Nick himself. What a great way to deliver some Christmas cheer! Many children in our City face extraordinary circumstances, from homelessness to hunger, we strive to bridge the gap by providing afterschool programs and the joy of the holiday spirit.
Mount Vernon STRONG Poetry Night at Barnes and Noble
The S.T.R.O.N.G. program, an initiative of the city’s Youth Bureau, has partnered with Eastchester High School for poetry night with Barnes and Noble. Students went to Barnes and Noble on December 15, 2017, and shared pieces with one another as well as collaborated on new writings that included poetry, the spoken word and short stories. The two programs will be going to the Neuberger Museum of Art together.
Mayor’s Youth Empowerment Council and the Mount Vernon Community that Cares Coalition Annual Holiday Toy Drive
Students from the Mayor’s Youth Empowerment Council and board members of the Mount Vernon Community that Cares coalition wrapped toys at their annual holiday toy drive. Over fifty toys were donated to families from Family Ties of Mount Vernon.
Mount Vernon Police Department School Resource Officer Lloyd & the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau STEP Up Participants from Cecil H. Parker
School Resource Officer Kareem Lloyd spoke with the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau’s STEP-UP participants from Cecil H. Parker Elementary School. He discussed the serious responsibilities of being Police Officer, encouraged them to stay in school and follow their dreams.
Listen to us live:
Mayor Richard Thomas is live and on-the-air several days a week, taking your calls, addressing your concerns, and answering your questions. See the schedule below and be sure to tune in!
On Tuesdays at 7:20 am, Mayor Richard Thomas joins WVOX’s Bob Marrone to discuss pressing political news in Mount Vernon, Westchester County, and the country. You can hear this week’s discussion here.
At 8:30 am, you can hear the Mayor on “Mornings with the Mayor” on 104.5 FM Linkage Radio. Listen to this week’s episode here.
On Wednesdays, the Mayor heads to Minister Patrick Tyson’s corner on Future FM Radio at 98.9 FM. Catch this week’s 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 to hear Mayor Richard Thomas speak to the challenges that were tackled in 2017, those engaged, even resolved, and those that will be carried into 2018, and concerns over how national tax restructuring legislation may be an unexpected concern.
On Fridays, the Mayor joins Fada Gassy for Gloves On Gloves Off on Future FM Radio at 98.9 FM. Catch last week’s episode here.
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 conversation on public safety following the federal indictment of Mount Vernon gang members. Mayor Thomas also discusses the Trump Tax plan and the implications for Mount Vernon.