Sunday, November 22, 2009


Embattled Mount Vernon Mayor Clinton Young

Mount Vernon City Councilman William Randolph

Mount Vernon taxpayers should be extremely concerned and worried this year.  There has been speculation that the tax increase for 2010 will be in excess of 23%.  Tax and spend are two words that the Young administration live and die by.  Mount Vernon residents should not believe anything that comes from the mouth of Mayor Young.  After all, this is the same man that referred to Mount Vernon residents as "jackasses" after he was elected Mayor.  Mount Vernon residents have still yet to digest the substantial tax increase that was passed a few months ago by the school board. Households and municipalities across the country are learning to do more with less.

When Mayor Young took office in 2008, he immediately created several controversial positions.  Inspector General, Human Resources Commissioner, and 2 Special Assistants to the Mayor positions are a few.  He also gave a $10K raise to his sister Mary Young who heads the Management Services Department and a $20K raise to disgraced DPW Commissioner Terrence Horton. In an effort to sound smarter than he really is, Commissioner Horton created the Forward Logistics and Operations Center.  This is Commissioner Horton fancy definition for "Sanitation Headquarters." Commissioner Horton advertises the DPW Department as a department going green, however all of the new SUV's that are driven by the supervisors and purchased under Horton's leadership are gasoline powered not Hybrid's that other surrounding municipalities are currently utilizing.  The department of public works is already over budget in excess of $125K and the winter season has not yet arrived.    If you take a look around the City, residents will come to understand why this is the case.  Commissioner Horton has squandered away over $50K beautifying the sidewalks immediately surrounding his property and the neighboring community.  Two days ago, Mayor Young even had the luxury of having Ellwood Avenue, the street he resides on, repaved. Mount Vernon taxpayers will also have to cope with the reckless decision making of embattled Mayor Young and Councilman William Randolph in 2010.  Their actions to sneakily pass over $21M in bonds in this financial climate will felt for generations to come. 

Earlier this week, there has been speculation that Mayor Young made calls to several unions, including the Police and Fire unions, and told there are going to be significant cuts this year.  Mayor Young as usual, ignored the fact that he is part of the problem and not part of the solution.  If Mayor Young wants to close the budget gap he should institute a hiring freeze, eliminate the useless positions that he created, and repeal all political patronage raises that he gave out.  Mayor Young needs to realize that taxpayers simply do not pull dollar bills from their behind at will.  Taxpayers can no longer remain silent while Mayor Young and his Ministry of Propaganda siphon taxpayer funds.

It is highly unlikely that a budget can be passed this year.  The framers of the Mount Vernon City Charter intended for there to be transparency between the government and the public.  It is stated in the Mount Vernon City Charter that the proposed budget is to be released prior to Election Day.  This makes perfect sense as the power rests with the voters.  Voters can then decide if they can afford the proposed budget and register their yea or nay’s  on Election Day.  According to the City Charter, the proposed budget was supposed to be made available for public inspection in the City Clerk’s Office, no later than October 23rd.  As of November 20th, 2009 there is no proposed budget on file in the City Clerk’s office.   The City Charter further states that the Board of Estimate is to  hold a public hearing no later than November 19th, and that a budget be adopted by the Board of Estimate and Contract by November 23rd.  As of November 20th’ 2009, there has been no public hearing so it will be virtually impossible to adopt a budget by November 23rd, 2009. A final budget must be adopted by the Mount Vernon City Council by December 5th, 2009. 
The current time frame does not allow for the budget to go through the public scrutiny process and still be adopted by December 5th.  Mount Vernon Exposed predicts that the 2010 budget will not be adopted until January 13th, 2009.  If the budget is delayed into the New Year, this will be a victory for Mount Vernon taxpayers.  The incoming City Council can do what they were elected to do, curb the tax madness of the Young Administration.

Mount Vernon City Charter
Article VII
81. Annual estimates.
(a) Not later than November twenty-third, and if that day falls on a
Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the next business day, but not sooner than
two days after it holds a public hearing in relation thereto, the Board of Estimate
and Contract shall complete and adopt an itemized statement in writing of the
itemized revenue and expenditures of the City for the ensuing fiscal year, which
statement shall be known as the annual estimate.
(b) Before it adopts said annual estimate, the Board of Estimate and
Contract shall give a public hearing to such persons as wish to be heard in relation
thereto, which public hearing shall be held no later than November nineteenth,
unless said date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday in which event the
public hearing shall be held on the next business day.
(c) Notice of said public hearing together with a summary of the proposed
estimate shall be published once in the official City newspaper no later than
October 25, unless said date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, in which
event said notice and summary of the proposed estimate shall be published on the
following business day. Copies of the proposed estimate will be available for
inspection by the public in the office of the City Clerk upon publication of the notice.
(As amended by L.L. 1994, No. 2)
(d) The estimated revenues shall contain an estimate of the probable
revenues, which, in the judgment of the Board of Estimate and Contract, will be
received by the City during the fiscal year, less the amount required to be deposited
to the credit of the sinking fund, if any; a statement of the amount of the sinking
fund, which, in the judgment of the Board of Estimate and Contract, is available
and should be applied to the payment of the principal of any bonded indebtedness of
the City falling due during the said fiscal year; and a statement of all unexpended
balances, or estimated unexpended balance of the current fiscal year remaining to
the credit of the City, or of any office, board or department thereof. The estimate of
expenditures shall contain an estimate of the several amounts of money which the
Board of Estimate and Contract deems necessary to provide for the expenses of
conducting the business of the City in each board, department and office thereof and
for the various purposes contemplated by this chapter and otherwise by law for the
said fiscal year; to pay the principal and interest of any bonded or other
indebtedness of the City falling due during the said fiscal year; and the amount of
any judgments recovered against the City and payable during the said fiscal year.
Immediately after said annual estimate shall have been adopted, the Board of
Estimate and Contract shall submit the same in final form to the City Council with
a statement in writing of such reasons for such estimate as it may deem proper, by
filing same with the City Clerk. The City Council shall, as soon thereafter as may be
possible, convene and consider said estimate. It shall give a public hearing to such
persons as wish to be heard in reference thereto. After such hearing and on or
before December fifth, the City Council shall adopt such estimate so submitted or
shall diminish or reject any items therein contained and adopt said estimate as so
amended. The City Council shall not have the power to diminish or reject any item
which relates to salaries, the indebtedness or estimated revenues, or the sums
estimated as necessary to pay the tax to be levied within the City for state and
county purposes, or the sums lawfully payable within said fiscal year upon
– 44 –
judgments; nor shall the City Council have the power to increase any item for any
purpose contained in said estimate.
(e) The said annual estimate shall be arranged so to give in a parallel
column the respective budget appropriations for the various items of expense and
the other purposes contained therein for the current fiscal year.
(f) There shall be no combination or grouping of items in any one code but
each item shall be separately and distinctly set forth with the appropriation
(g) The said annual estimate shall have appended thereto supplementary
reports reflecting the financial status of each federal, state or county program
and/or project to be submitted by the Director of each such program and/or project
in which the City or any agency, department, board or commission thereof is a
participant, including therein a schedule of all funds received and appropriated by
the City under each said program and/or project, and a general statement of the
purposes for which such funds have been allocated and expended, and the amount
of funds remaining in each account and to be received by the City for each such
program and/or project.
(h) Upon request of the City Council, department heads shall be required to
attend meetings of the City Council or of any committee thereof, in relation to the
proposed appropriations in the annual estimate for the department of which he is
the head.
(i) The said annual estimate shall have appended thereto a statement
setting forth the total net indebtedness of the City as of September 30 of the current
year, which said statement shall include a schedule of the bonds, notes, or other
evidences of indebtedness of the City, the date such obligations were authorized, the
type and amount of such obligations, the amount outstanding and the object or
purpose for which such obligations were authorized.
(j) Any vacant position for which a salary appropriation is indicated shall be
appropriately marked to reflect such vacancy.
(k) The said annual estimate shall separately and distinctly set forth by
department, board, agency or commission all revenues received in the form of fees
or charges.

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