Investigators as they leave the offices of Atlantic Development
Mount Vernon City Councilwoman Diane Munro-Morris
Embattled Mount Vernon City Council President Yuhanna Edwards
On Tuesday June 29th, 2010, during a special meeting 8 a.m. meeting of the Mount Vernon City Council, legislation was voted on to allow Atlantic Development to proceed with their massive low-income affordable housing complex on Gramatan Avenue. Atlantic Development and their executives are currently under criminal investigation by the Manhattan District attorney’s office for bribing public officials and hiring undocumented workers.
The vote was 4-1 with only City Councilwoman Roberta Apuzzo voting against the project. Previously, sources said that Councilwoman Karen Watts and Diane Munro-Morris were publicly opposed to this project. However, they have since had a change of heart and are in full support of Mayor Clinton Young and his ambitious agenda to move Mount Vernon forward. The exact same thing happened in Yonkers with the Ridge Hill project, and Councilwoman Sandy Annabi is currently awaiting trial on Federal corruption charges.
Sources have also told Mount Vernon Exposed™® that the councilwoman’s respective pastors of their churches played a major role in their decision making process. It is not unheard of for developers to line the pockets of clergymen with cash to gain their support and to use their influence on the masses of the people, usually those that are uneducated and live below the poverty level. Such clergymen are often referred to as “Sunday Plate Shakers” and “Poverty Pimps.”
During a speech made by Councilwoman Diane Munro-Morris, she stated that the City Council worked countless nights before coming to a decision to vote for the Atlantic Development project. She cited that she has done some “soul searching” before deciding to cast a favorable vote for the Atlantic Development project. However, Ms. Munro failed to mention the negative impact that this project would have for the next 5 years operating at a negative for 4 of the 5 years. Perhaps some of this soul searching was done with her pastor Dr. Rev. W. Darin Moore, pastor of Greater Centennial A.M.E. Zion church.
Ms. Munro also failed to mention that she did not read every single page of the documents submitted to the City Council, but instead relied on findings and interpretation from attorneys hired by the previous City Council. Such acts by Councilwoman Diane Munro Morris cannot, must not, and will not be tolerated. Ms. Munro must remember that the people always come first and she must always do the will of the people, not a religious leader who profits off of the misfortunes of others who turn to him for hope in times of crisis. There must continue to be a separation of church and state. Mount Vernon taxpayers and voters must remind Ms. Morris that there are severe consequences when elected officials go rogue and carry out their own selfish agenda. Ms. Munro must be fired next year when she is up for elections. Mount Vernon taxpayers can no longer afford to pay for the mistakes of incompetent elected officials. Enough is enough.
It has also come to the attention of Mount Vernon Exposed™® that Councilwoman Morris is hosting a fundraiser on Thursday July, 1st, 2010, exactly 48 hours after she voted yes on the Atlantic Development project. It will be quite interesting to see if member from Atlantic Development will be in attendance of if any money will be discreetly funneled to Councilwoman Munro. The public will have an opportunity to view Councilwoman Munro’s financial disclosure reports on July 15th, 2010.
Mount Vernon Exposed™® has learned that several community activists and groups are planning to protest during Councilwoman Munro fundraiser. Other community groups are calling for a boycott of the event. “Giving money to Councilwoman Munro is the equivalent of giving money to Osama Bin Laden. Both have caused mass destruction. One with weapons and the other with a vote, the latter being more dangerous”, said a community activist. Mount Vernon Exposed™® will be on hand to cover any protests of Councilwoman Munro’s fundraiser.
Community leaders and several taxpayers are preparing for a long, hard fought legal battle against the Mount Vernon City Council. Due to negligence of the Mount Vernon City Council, Mount Vernon taxpayers could see their property tax bills rise as much as 10% in 2011. It is estimated that the City of Mount Vernon’s legal bill could top $2 M dollars.