Saturday, March 12, 2011


A sports facility without visitors seating, restrooms or lights anywhere is not a ‘state of the art’ facility!!! The Council does not need a petition to understand this.

Council President Karen Watts
An interesting picture is being painted for the public with the most recent letter written by our County Legislator. Included is an accusation that I in some way have criticized the Legacy Program. I not only support the Legacy Grants, I initiated the use of this very grant for Memorial Field in 2006 with then County Legislator Clinton I. Young!!! 

Legislator Lyndon Williams went all over town in the early part of 2010, telling all who would listen that the Memorial Field project was in danger because the Council had not put the bonds in place. As the majority of the Council was newly elected in 2010, we wanted to review as much as possible to be certain that the tax dollars of our residents were not squandered on unnecessary interest payments or funding projects that were no longer needed. After we met with commissioners and department heads, we put the requests in order of importance and job readiness. Of course Memorial Field was at the top of the list. I do not know why the 2009 City Council failed to request the correct amount of money for the project. This fact that was not revealed until later, as Legislator Lyndon Williams is aware of, since it was he who informed us! 

Quite honestly, from the perspective of the Council, it simply doesn’t matter who or when or what led to the present issue. Our only interest now is to resolve it. We could spend years arguing how this came to be. But at the end of the day, what would that accomplish? The Council does not wish to spend any more time rehashing the past. We would like to move forward and get this field started! As Stated by our Legislator, ‘this is the job of the City Officials.’

After a call from me, the Mayor re-appointed the Capital Projects Board. He did this on February 24th, 2011.  While we were waiting for this, I, and other members of the Council, spoke with several department heads including the Planning and Recreation Commissioners, to work on changing the current bond requests so that more money could be put towards Memorial Field. We are still waiting for some of these numbers.
I, for one, am of the opinion that what could have, should have or would have happened, ceases to be an issue in light of the work that has to be done now. 

Mount Vernon residents deserve a state of the art facility. As elected officials, we are charged with the responsibility of achieving this goal. This is the aim of the Council.  

Finally, I will once again repeat the last line in my initial letter to our Legislator  - ‘It is my hope that you will assist us by working with us to accelerate the process so that we can get this work done correctly - the first time!’

Respectfully Submitted
Karen Watts, President, Mount Vernon City Council

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