Mayor Richard Thomas Weekly Report for July 29, 2017

Be Outraged on Funding Priorities

We should all be outraged that the City Council and Comptroller Walker eliminated funding for the police commissioner. This makes it incredibly difficult for us to attract the leadership that our families deserve if we cannot offer them a salary. No other government would do this to their constituents so why should we tolerate it here? In 2015, there were 212 police officers. When I took office in 2016, they cut twenty positions from the department. In 2017, the City Council and Comptroller Walker slashed funding for the police commissioner and additional officers in the department. This is especially troubling since Comptroller Walker claims that Mount Vernon is financially solvent with $19 million sitting unused in a city account. We have been overtaxed, underserved and treated as a second-class community. It’s time for you to ask Councilmembers and Comptroller Walker why your lives don’t matter. Call Comptroller Walker at 914–665–2442 and City Councilmembers at 914–665–2351.

Mount Vernon 21st Century Policing

Mount Vernon Testing Out New Digital Parking Meters

The City of Mount Vernon has begun testing new digital parking meters. These new meters will accept credit cards and, if testing is successful, they will be rolled out citywide this fall.

Mount Vernon Fire Department Community Building

The FDMV visited Stop & Shop on Sanford Boulevard for a community-building event. This is another example of Mount Vernon’s community engagement initiative and bringing together public servants and the community they serve.

Mount Vernon Appoints Special Counsel to Conduct URA Probe

Mayor Richard Thomas has appointed former FBI Special Agent-in-Charge of the Newark, NJ field office, Robert Frankel to head an investigation into the financial records of the Urban Renewal Agency. The probe is intended to uncover any information relating to the discovery of significant irregularities and the discovery of about $6 million in undocumented loans issued by the agency dating back as far as 2006. Frankel successfully led the investigation into “Bridgegate” leading to several successful prosecutions of New Jersey government officials.

Youth Bureau SYEP End of Summer Celebration & ESA Final Competition

IT was the combined funding from multiple sources that allowed the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau to employ approximately 200 youth for the summer. Young people, ages 14–21 years old had the opportunity to work in diverse career sectors in government, healthcare, childcare, recreation, and others. Programming also included sessions with the following academies: Entrepreneurship Summer Academy (ESA), Counselors In Training Program (CIT), CAPP Media Academy & Peer Educators, and GEM Summer Leadership Academy.

On Thursday, August 10, 2017, our young people will be celebrated for a successful term at the Doles Center from 10 AM — 2PM. The day will be filled with Elected Officials, Guest Speakers, breakout sessions, music, and food. Later that evening, the Entrepreneurship Summer Academy (ESA) will host their Final Competition at Westchester Community College — Mount Vernon Extension Center from 6 PM — 8 PM.

Farmer’s Market

The Mount Vernon Farmer’s Market was back for another yummy week on City Hall plaza. The market, which sets up just to the right of the Summer Breeze Concert, sells farm fresh fruits and vegetables, farm-made pickles, olives and other artisan and organic products. Come by each and every Thursday evening from 4 pm to sundown.

Another One Bites the Dust

Mount Vernon demolished another zombie structure last week, marking the 3rd demolition in 2 weeks! These zombie vampires not only suck the life and property values out of our neighborhoods, they are magnets for crime and grime. Mayor Richard Thomas’ commitment to erasing these demons from our city will continue until every last one is eradicated from our community. Click here to watch the latest demolition at 215 South 3rd Avenue.

Community Development Block Grants

The public comment period for CDBG funding remains open until August 7, 2017. All stakeholders are encouraged to express their views on the proposed draft budget by emailing Dom McCoy at: Non-English speaking individuals and those who require the information in an alternative format may contact the Planning Department at 914–699–7230 to request assistance. All comments received by 12:00 NOON on August 7, 2017 will be considered and will be incorporated into the official public record. Click here to read Mayor Thomas’ statement on the importance of funding the right priorities.

National Night Out

Earlier this week, Mount Vernon celebrated National Night Out at Levister Towers. The Mount Vernon Police Department joined the community for an evening of food, fun, music, dancing, and information on useful resources for the community. Folks from all over the city enjoyed barbecue delights served by members of our police department, free giveaways, and bouncy castles for the kids. Mount Vernon’s twelve new police recruits were there as well, enjoying their first community engagement event.

Shift Masters of Westchester Fleetwood Car Show

This Sunday, August 6th is the 4th Annual Shift Masters of Westchester Fleetwood Classic Car and Motorcycle Show. The beautiful cars will line Gramatan Avenue from Birch to Grand Street. Come check out these incredible rides! Click here to see a video from last years car show.

El Castillo Del Caribe

A local Mount Vernon restaurant is attracting attention across the lower Hudson Valley. El Castillo del Caribe opened their doors two months ago at 31 South St and their business has quickly taken off. With a menu filled with traditional Caribbean dishes, they offer affordable lunch specials by day and gourmet sit-down dinners by night. They’re a great example of the American dream right here in Mount Vernon. Congratulations and Mount Vernon wishes you continued success! Read their feature article in Lohud here.

Pop-Up Block Parties

Mayor Richard Thomas has brought back the Mount Vernon Pop-Up Block Parties again this year. Last week we brought the party to Hartley Park. This week we’re the BBQ, bouncy castles and water blasters well be on Westchester Ave between Parkway South and Center St. from 1–4 pm. Come join us for a fun day of food, music and games for the kids. For a complete list of upcoming pop-ups visit Click here to see video from last week’s block party. Mark your calendars for next week when the fun will be on Millington and South Columbus.

Slide the City is Coming Back to Mount Vernon

Mark your calendars, Mount Vernon, because the one and only Slide the City is back in town! This 1,000 foot long “slip-n-side” will be take over Gramatan Avenue the last weekend in August. Grab your swimsuits and flip-flops and be prepared for summertime right in our backyards. Click here to watch videos of last year’s event. Click here to see highlights from last year’s Slide the City in Mount Vernon. Get your slide passes here.

Listen to us live:

Every week, Mayor Thomas speaks to Yonkers Tribune radio with host Hezi Aris: Catch this week’s interview here for an unvarnished look at what’s happening in Mount Vernon: Mayor Thomas also hosts Mount Vernon Moving Forward every Friday on WVOX, from 5pm to 6pm. You can listen to this week’s show here for an in-depth discussion about the what’s going on in Mount Vernon. On the Internet, tune in to Future 98.9 every Wednesday at 8:30am to listen to Mayor Thomas and Minister P. Tyson. You can find last week’s interview here. On Tuesdays at 8am, you can hear Mayor Thomas on 101.5 Linkage Radio. Catch last week’s discussion here.