|CORRPT MOUNT VERNON SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT JUDITH JOHNSON|
Mount Vernon Exposed has gathered evidence that suggests that public monies have not always been used in the best interest of Mount Vernon taxpayers. Instead, public monies are expended to fulfill one’s greed and further build corrupt criminal enterprises.
Earlier this week, Mount Vernon Exposed revealed that over $100M in bond money intended to repair and build schools was squandered away with little to no oversight at all. Although two new schools were built with the so-called bond monies, data collected by Mount Vernon Exposed suggests that the two new schools built were not even necessary.
CEPA controlled candidates voted in 2002 to abolish the position of Building’s and Ground Superintendent so that the great heist could begin. It would begin with the selection of an architect, who would be user friendly to City Hall, the Black Churches, and the crooked school officials who wanted to line their pockets. The architect of choice would be Peter Gaito, close friend of Mount Vernon Mayor Ernie Davis and Rev Franklyn Richardson. In 2007, Peter Gaito designed every major project approved by city officials.
The schools built with the $100M bond money were Longfellow Elementary School and Grimes Elementary School. Peter Gaito was the architect for Longfellow Middle School and it could not be determined at press time if his firm also was responsible for the design of Grimes Elementary School.
Data collected by Mount Vernon Exposed also suggests that the Mount Vernon City School District has too many buildings for its students compared to neighboring school districts with the same demographics.
The Mount Vernon City School District operates 16 schools with a student enrollment of 8,009 students in 2011-2012 school year. The average class size during this period was 22 students per classroom.
The New Rochelle City School District operates 11 schools with a student enrollment of 10,540 students in the 2011-2012 school year. The average class size during this period was 23 students per classroom.
The White Plains City School District operates 7 buildings with a student enrollment of 6,957 students in the 2011-2012 school year. The average class size during this period was 22 students per classroom.
Evaluating the date presented, it is evident that Mount Vernon has way too many buildings. It costs on average $5-6 million per year to operate each school building. Many of the elementary schools, particularly on the North Side of Mount Vernon are underutilized with the exception of Lincoln Elementary School, which is over capacity.
For example several elementary schools in New Rochelle which is about 20 times larger land wise than the City of Mount Vernon, has an enrollment of over 600 students with one elementary school clocking in over 1,000 enrolled students. Pennington School considered being the best elementary school in Mount Vernon had just 293 enrolled students in the 2001-2012 school year. This is unacceptable.
Mount Vernon can immediately close several buildings, at least three, and there will be an immediate savings to the taxpayer. Cecil H. Parker, Mandela School, and Traphagan can be closed. This will amount to an immediate saving of $15-18 million per year.
Critics and the naysayers will say that the children will not be able to get to school. This is 100% false. Bus service will be immediately restored at a cost of $750,000 per year, which is a drop in the bucket because of the immediate saving of $15-18 million per year. The City of New Rochelle and the City of White Plains provided buses for their children to get to school. It is embarrassing that the City of Mount Vernon due to the greed of City officials and the black preachers do not provide buses for the children to get to school.
The schools in the City of Mount Vernon have been neglected for such a long time that any repair short of a complete demolition and rebuild would be just like flushing money down the toilet.
Just last week, Mount Vernon Interim School Chief Judith Johnson admitted that Mount Vernon must look to alternate revenue streams because they can no longer propose insane property tax hikes due to the 2% tax cap. Judith should look to her counterparts in Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia because they are closing schools there as well.
The buildings not needed for public use should be auctioned off to a private developer that will restore that property to the tax roll and will add to the schools surplus funds. School officials must begin to think of the schools as a business and not a personal piggy bank or slush fund. For example, if Apple starts to lose business, the first thing they are going to do is close Apple stores and lay off employees. They are not going to open new stores until they stabilize their business.
Furthermore, there is an abandoned school building on South 11th Avenue, the site of the former Mandela High School. This building has remained neglected for years and still remains abandoned. Drug addicts and homeless people now call this place home. Mount Vernon taxpayers would shoulder the burden if someone were to sue due to someone getting hurt or even killed on the property.
|New Rochelle City School District Enrollment|
|School||2009-10||2010-11||2011-12||Average Class Size|
|Albert Leonard Middle School||1240||1228||1221||23|
|Daniel Webster Elementary||526||544||541||22|
|George M. Davis Elementary||629||665||672||23|
|Henry Barnard School||301||300||287||21|
|Isaac E. Young Middle School||1141||1153||1155||26|
|New Rochelle High School||3454||3413||3364||26|
|William B. Ward Elementary||1020||1011||1003||24|
|White Plains City School District Enrollment|
|School||2009-10||2010-11||2011-12||Average Class Size|
|Church Street School||663||679||691||21|
|George Wasington School||694||696||735||22|
|Mamaroneck Avenue School||604||624||622||21|
|Post Road School||527||545||534||21|
|White Plains Middle School||1506||1504||1523||24|
|White Plains Senior High School||2202||2211||2149||25|