Mayor Clinton I. Young Jr.
Management Services Commissioner Mary Young
Corporation Counsel Loretta Hottinger
Embattled Management Services Commissioner Mary Young just doesn’t get it. Commissioner Young is charged with the responsibility of posting meetings to the City of Mount Vernon’s website among other duties. Commissioner Mary Young’s repeatedly chooses to violate the NYS Open meetings law by not posting meeting notices as required by law to the website. The inability of Mary Young to follow the law can be directly attributed to her qualifications. Perhaps Mary Young is still envisioning she is on her honeymoon and therefore cannot focus on the task at hand. Neither is beneficial to Mount Vernon taxpayers. Democratic district and Human Rights Activist Samuel L. Rivers recently took the City of Mount Vernon to court regarding this very same unlawful activity.
Justice William J. Giacomo wrote in his decision:
“Such discretionary postings open a Pandora’s box of slippery slope possibilities where an institution or organization entrusted with serving the public could post notices that only served its agenda. Such discretionary postings would fly in the face of the transparency and openness the Open Meetings Laws were designed to ensure.”
Public Officers Law, Article 7 states
1. Public notice of the time and place of a meeting scheduled at least one week prior thereto shall be given to the news media and shall be conspicuously posted in one or more designated public locations at least seventy-two hours before such meeting.
2. Public notice of the time and place of every other meeting shall be given, to the extent practicable, to the news media and shall be conspicuously posted in one or more designated public locations at a reasonable time prior thereto.
3. The public notice provided for by this section shall not be construed to require publication as a legal notice.
4. If videoconferencing is used to conduct a meeting, the public notice for the meeting shall inform the public that videoconferencing will be used, identify the locations for the meeting, and state that the public has the right to attend the meeting at any of the locations.
5. When a public body has the ability to do so, notice of the time and place of a meeting given in accordance with subdivision one or two of this section, shall also be conspicuously posted on the public body's internet website.
On Monday January 11th, 2010, The Mount Vernon Civil Service Commission was scheduled to have its monthly meeting. The meeting was only posted to the City of Mount Vernon’s website the same day the meeting was to take place. The meeting scheduled for January 11th, 2010 was postponed until Friday, January 15th, 2010 at 8:30 a.m. The meeting scheduled for January 15th, 2010 is now on the City of Mount Vernon’s website. Mayor Young’s administration continues to make excuses for breaking the law. On the City of Mount Vernon’s website, “lack of quorum” is the reason stated for cancellation of the Civil Service Commission meeting scheduled on Monday January 11th, 2010. However, the real reason the meeting was cancelled was due to inadequate notice to the public.
CITY COUNCIL MEETINGSThere is a City Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday January 13th, 2010. There is no public notice as required by law posted on the City of Mount Vernon’s website. The City Council should refrain from voting or passing any resolutions at the unlawful meeting scheduled for January 13th, 2010.