Tuesday, December 3, 2013



Greed of some of the most prominent black church Minister’s in the City of Mount Vernon destroyed our youth by denying them a proper education. Under the influence of the black Churches, Mount Vernon went from having great schools, to having one of the worst school districts in the country. Property taxes have tripled under their leadership. Graduation rates are at an all time low, because children are dropping out at record numbers. Most children in Mount Vernon perform below grade level.

There has been severe mismanagement of public funds for the past two decades due to the influence of the black churches in the City of Mount Vernon. Although taxes have tripled, vocational training has been removed from Mount Vernon schools, further hindering the prospect of children becoming employable. Uneducated youth resort to crime, drugs, gangs, and then become incarcerated. The elderly become squeezed out of their homes while falling home prices have made Mount Vernon an undesirable place to live. How did this happen? How did people who preach the word of God, become such opportunist? Why did they destroy a generation of youth?

Prior to 1997 the ICA (Italian Civic Association) controlled the school board. Founded in 1917, the I.C.A. elected its first school board trustee in 1919. Its members, all of who trace their roots to Italy, got out the vote by phoning and making house calls to their voter base. The ICA financed the running of school board candidates, influenced the hiring of the superintendent, teachers, and had complete control of contracts. Schools on the north side had better teachers, more computers, and were just plain better equipped than south side schools. The ICA took care of the north side, and African Americans and black church leaders in Mount Vernon were outraged.

Even with the favoritism, the children in Southside schools were being educated. Mount Vernon had blue ribbon, nationally recognized schools, and a high graduation rate. For example, on a state reading exam in 1996, 93.1 percent of Mount Vernon's sixth graders scored above the minimum competency level compared with 89.9 percent of all Westchester sixth graders. Children passed in great numbers in both middle-class and poor sections of the city. The average property tax bill in 1996 was about $3500 per year.

Black Ministers under an organization called SEPA (Coalition for the Empowerment of People of African Ancestry) mounted a campaign to wrestle power away from The ICA. The ringleader of SEPA was Grace Baptist Church pastor, W. Franklyn Richardson. Despite US laws against mixing politics and religion, preachers, in violation of their 501-C3 tax-exempt statuses, preached politics from the pulpit, urging people to come out and vote for their candidates. In May of 1997, with 11,547 voters casting their vote, SEPA took control of the school board. The winning SEPA candidates were, Frances W. Wynn, Carolyn V. Ben Reuben, Lynn C. Frazer-McBride, Gerald M. Coleman and the Rev. David D. Henry.

The 1997-98 budget was $95.9 million. SEPA challenged the budget vote, which was defeated during the 1997 May election. In 1997 spending per pupil in the City of Mount Vernon was $9,383.45.  Today, spending has increased to almost $30,000 per pupil. Immediately following the school board election in 1997, SEPA went to work, hiring “their” people to work in the school system, regardless of qualifications. Contracts were awarded to acquaintances, bonds were taken out and money went missing. People got rich off the backs of our children and taxpayers.

It was long after SEPA put “their” people to work that taxpayers and children in the City of Mount Vernon would begin to feel the effects of SEPA’s high taxing policies. Scores of children began to plummet academically, vocational schools were eliminated, students began to drop out in record numbers, and property taxes skyrocketed. Crime escalated to record numbers and our uneducated and unemployable youth ended up in jail. An entire generation was destroyed mostly African American children, due to the policies of SEPA. 

The school district is the largest employer in the City of Mount Vernon. Church and city officials have used the district to give jobs as favors to their friends and members. The district is loaded with no show jobs, and people who flat out do not work. Our schools are dirty, and falling apart.

Since our black Ministers rescued us from the ICA, over 5000 kids have dropped out of school. Most of our south side school children are well below state standard levels in reading and math. Some schools have much less than 30% of their children at or above grade level. Davis Middle School is an embarrassment, and ranks at the bottom of middle schools in the state, with 25% of 7th and 8th graders at or above reading and math levels. The numbers are still dropping. 

The Black Clergy just supported the 2013 budget vote, despite it being well over 200 million dollars. There are far fewer students enrolled in the Mount Vernon School district than there was in 1997. The UBC (United Black Clergy) who have since taken the place of SEPA continue to violate the law and are heavy in school politics. Did they get involved with the school system to help educate children or to line their pockets? One thing is certain; our children have suffered under their control.

In the recent 2012 school board election, the UBC asked the Mount Vernon Democratic Committee to run their campaign, and the Democratic Committee rigged the election to insure their candidates were elected.  The UBC was concerned that they were losing support and needed outside help. The Mount Vernon Democratic Committee members and headquarters were used to run the campaign. SEPA always blamed the ICA of stealing elections to control money and jobs The UBC is now being accused of doing the same. Francis Wynn and Elias Goodzeit are two current board members who were elected in the fraudulent 2012 election and are puppets of the UBC. They are now joined by Lenny Sarver to continue to do the churches dirty work. The Churches continue to meddle in the school district.

School Board Trustee Frances Wynn has long been at the helm during the massive looting of taxpayer dollars, yet Wynn puts on an image that she is the victim.  Wynn is the sister of Bettye Davis, wife of Mayor Ernie Davis.  Wynn and Bettye also have a half-sister that they do not want the public to know about.  Helen Coleman, a secretary employed by DPW, is the half sister of Wynn and Bettye.  Helen was married to Gerald Coleman (deceased) who also served on the school board and was elected in 1997 with Wynn and others. 

Mayor Davis has stated publicly on several occasions that he wanted Mayoral control of the school board. Davis even went so far as to say that City Hall should have two or three seats on the school board.  Sources have told Mount Vernon Exposed that School Trustee Len Sarver can be seen frequenting City Hall join in and out of Mayor Davis' office on a regular basis.  Sarver is the liaison between City Hall and the Mount Vernon School District.

As of today, the UBC and City officials have a stranglehold on the school district. After once scolding Mount Vernon ministers for destroying the school district, Judith Johnson has now aligned herself with them. Lenny Sarver, Elias Goozeit and Francis Wynn to continue to let Church join her and City Officials dictate the direction of The Mount Vernon School District. All decisions have to meet their approval.

Despite the destruction of an entire school district, and an entire generation of children lost, The UBC and City Officials are gearing up steal the next election. Too much money is at stake.

Why was vocational training removed from our schools? Children, who were not great academically, were able to learn electrical, plumbing, cosmetology, or how to fix a car. If any other group destroyed the lives of the black community like the Mount Vernon churches have, the black community would be outraged, and there would be protests in the streets. Why is it ok to have an entire generation of our youth, and elderly destroyed by our Ministers?  Where is the outrage?

Why do we continue to let Mount Vernon be destroyed? To be continued………

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