Mount Vernon budget running late again

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MOUNT VERNON–When it comes to passing its budget on time, Mount Vernon is making a habit out of cutting it close.

“The clock is ticking,” City Council President Yuhanna Edwards said. “We’re at the 12 o’clock hour.”

For the second consecutive year, the city is nearing its Dec. 31 deadline with no spending plan for the coming year in place. The city passed its 2013 budget two days into the new year. The budget was late the year before, too, when then-mayor Clinton Young was preparing to leave office.

“It’s an irresponsible way of managing resources,” Councilman Rich Thomas said. “It’s simply the wrong way of doing things.”

According to Thomas, Mayor Ernest Davis has not yet presented members of the Board of Estimate and Contract or the City Council with a proposed 2014 budget. With just three weeks left in the year, Thomas said it’s unlikely the city will have enough time to consider and vote on anything the mayor provides.

Davis is expected to meet with members of council Wednesday night. He said he’s hopeful the city can adopt a budget before year’s end. As it stands now, he said, the spending plan his administration is putting together calls for a double-digit increase in the tax rate.

“It’s very tough to bring it (the rate) in at an acceptable level. We’re trying to be realistic about it yet not so onerous that it traumatizes the taxpayers,” Davis said. “We’ve got to pull the rabbits out of the hat on this one.”

Failing to adopt the budget on time could imperil the city’s credit rating and hurt its chances of winning state and federal grants, Thomas said.

“It sends the wrong message to the business community, to the homeowners of Mount Vernon, to our colleagues in government,” he said.

According to Edwards, the council ought to have been presented with a preliminary budget in mid-November, which would have allowed for a public hearing in the first week of December.

“I’ve been pushing for it for months to be on time,” Edwards said, “but for some reason, we’re in the same situation we were in a year ago.”

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3 Comments

  1. I’m not sure if the people of MV like the sarcastic tone in this article. If I were Ned, I don’t think I would step foot in MV. It’s no secret that it’s one of the more dysfunctional communities in Westchester, if not the state, but to write an article about this is irrelevant – you see, no one cares. Not even the people in MV. It’s actually old news and if it’s worth it for you’re to write about, than clearly you must have a boring life. Ned, how about you write about something more intriguing to your readers, or something that has an impact on someone’s life. This is why you write in blogs, because your ideas are just as pathetic as your writing skills. The city of MV will never change until you elect a mayor who isn’t high, stoned, stupid and crooked. The city will never change until the culture of MV changes. In an area that covers 4.4 square miles, it sure is one of the saddest parts of NYS. Just a cesspool filled with uninvolved parents and children who can’t read and write. Don’t blame the school system; blame the families from which these kids come from.

  2. MV Pride, I’m not sure where to begin in responding to your comment. First, I didn’t write the story with any sarcasm intended. Re-reading the piece, I don’t find anything that comes across as sarcasm. As I see it, the piece is straight-forward.

    You say people don’t care about the way Mount Vernon operates. I disagree. Based on what I see when I’m in Mount Vernon and on what I hear from my sources, people really do care about Mount Vernon. Your implication that writing about this stuff has no impact “on someone’s life” strikes me as strange. Clearly a city’s budget and its tax rate directly affect on how people in that city live.

    Finally, my life is not boring. To be honest, it’s a thrill to wake up and be me. That’s not a boast; it’s just to say that I’m happy with my lot. I wish the same for everyone.

    Thanks for reading Lohud.com and for taking the time to write. If you’ve got suggestions for stories that would qualify as “something more intriguing,” I’m all ears. My email address is: erauch@lohud.com

  3. @MVPride.
    Maybe you can raise the level of your own discourse. It is easy for you lash out at Ned for his sarcasm while calling Mount Vernon a “cesspool with univolved parents”.
    The lateness of the budget has nothing to do with any of the “facts” you state.
    The City of Mount Vernon has to navigate difficult interests – police, fire and civil servants at this time. There is no “fat.” – The civil service employees have been working without a contract for years and the prospect of renegociation will raise the taxes for the residents of Mount Vernon.
    The truth is a larger percentage of the taxes paid by residents goes to pay for the school system – not the City Budget.
    Changing the Mayor every 4 years will not affect this reality.