Enacted Legislation Meant to Resuscitate Greater Voter Turnout
Charm Offensive in Mount Vernon a Dismal Failure
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas Will Not Be Able to Engage a Re-election Effort
Yonkers 2019 Mayoral Election Results Practically a Shoe-in
Plans Meant to Be Initialized Months From Now Undermined by Revised Political Calendar
Reassessment Required By All Elected Office Seekers
Some Stopped Dead in Their Tracks; Others Mistakenly Determined to Forge Ahead Undeterred
MOUNT VERNON, NY and YONKERS, NY — January 27, 2019 — Those who have skin in the game languish lethargically seemingly unprepared for the looming and soon to arrive seismic political changes that will impress every community throughout New York State. In an attempt to resuscitate the electorate’s involvement in the political process, the New York State Legislature approved a political calendar so broad in its impact on the political landscape that many would be elected office seekers have been caught blindsided. This, despite the prospect for such a change has been contemplated for some time. The last months, with an expected Democratic Senate Conference Majority to gain took hold, and a Democratic Assembly majority in place, the prospect for changing the political calendar had for all intent and purpose defined the outcome. Lest it be misconstrued, the outcome tends to double down on incumbents gaining the congratulatory slap on the back for their win, whether Democrat or Republican.
In Mount Vernon, the battle lines were drawn long ago. Especially between Mayor Richard Thomas and Mount Vernon Comptroller Deborah Reynolds. The bills have been piling higher and higher and yet Comptroller Reynolds refuses to make payment. Vendors have repossessed vehicles for non-payment; fuel bills have gone unpaid, fines imposed upon the City of Mount Vernon by one regulatory oversight body or another continue to saddle the city with more fines and penalties. Even toilet paper purchases are on a cash only basis. Police communication units have suffered down time due to non-payment and seemingly a lack of concern for public safety and police personnel safety. Juxtaposed to the seemingly endless assault of fiscal conduct, never rationalized or explained but Comptroller Reynolds publicly or defined by Mayor Thomas in its complexity, nor challenged for its lack of credibility, integrity, or legality, the public has been marginalized because an explanation of the issues and their unsubstantiated basis for her conduct, and the mayor continues unabated with no end in sight, that is until a new mayor wins the November 2019th General Election.
Seniors were invited by Mayor Thomas to inform the citizenry that the Dole Senior Center had run out of toilet paper to the disgust of Mount Vernon’s senior community. While the circumstances are indeed valid, the litany heard expressed by Mayor Thomas is that he will fight for Mount Vernon for the sake of the residents. A laudable effort to which after three years in office, challenged by contrarian personalities. Mayor Thomas has proven himself incapable of managing the Office of Mayor of Mount Vernon abysmally to his own consternation and those of the elected who held in acceding to office a positive outcome. Alas, he has faile the residents and himself.
The fines against the city by the Department of Environmental Protection continues to pile ever higher. The feel good showmanship is more akin to a minstrel act than a cohesive approach to changing the failed and failing reality that has caused suffering among the citizenry and items such as reduced Internet service for seniors continues to gain no approval from the Mount Vernon City Council Members.
Memorial Field, the jewel Mayor Thomas hoped to invigorate his politcal prospects has yet to be resolved. It is now recognized that the project will likely languish until a new mayor is sworn to office.
The list grows day by day. Former Mayors Ernie Davis and Clinton Young are seeking to take the helm as the next Mayor of Mount Vernon. City Council President Andre Wallace, City Council President Pro Tempore Janice Duarte, City Council Acting President Pro Tempore Marcus Griffith, City Council Person Delia Farquharson, and Comptroller Deborah Reynolds are in the mix. Recent Congressional candidate Derickson Lawrence is also known to be interested.
Mount Vernon considers Mayor Thomas a failed political anomaly who does not posses the traction, much less the legal ability to gain any political party designation, because the political undertone in Mount Vernon informs one that he has no prospect for raising a financially sound campaign effort. Thomas’ failure is believing that the public will extol his capacity but it has not materialized in over three year’s time. What are the prospects for a change toward resolving the issues and delivering on the promises he made? Zilch seems the first appropriate term with respect to his follow through inability.
Yonkers Tribune maintains that the most credible candidate for Mount Vernon Mayor is Supreme Court Justice Sam D. Walker who served as a judge for more than 18-years before receiving voter support for the 14-year term over which he presently presides. He served as an acting Supreme Court judge and presided over the Integrated Domestic Violence part of the Supreme Court. Judge Sam D. Walker also served as an acting Family Court judge in Yonkers, and a City Court judge for Mount Vernon. His unblemished reputation earned over many years of service speaks to his being supported by voters in the past and their logically casting their future vote for Mount Vernon Mayor for Justice Sam D. Walker. He has proven himself in their eyes; Yonkers Tribune concurs.
Yonkers, the City of Hills, has undergone a well thought strategic political game. The Yonkers Tribune has without wavering postulated that an extension of or rescinding term limits would win approval by the Yonkers City Council for over 2 1/2 years. It did, and it was approved by a super majority vote that negated a challenge by Mayor Mike Spano. Then again, despite his saying otherwise, Mayor Mike Spano had orchestrated the extension of term limits to up to three 4-year terms.
Once approved by the Yonkers City Council, even the effort to challenge the Yonkers City Council vote by way of a petition drive which called for a special election to over-ride the Yonkers City Council super majority vote. The effort to rescind the term limits failed miserably as it was not undertaken with purpose, drive, and outcome by those who trusted to deliver on the public so inclined ability to gain the almost 5,000 valid signatures to call for a Special Election to rescind the extension of term limits. Chuck Lesnick proved himself incompetent in this regard. He did so by his timid and passive effort to align himself with the effort to rescind term limits for the purpose of bolstering his prospects to challenge Mayor Mike Spano’s effort for a third term. Chuck Lesnick failed the voters who hoped to rescind term limits miserably. In so doing, he has literally undermined his political aspirations. It is unlikely his political prospect to become Mayor of Yonkers will ever be realized.
Lesnick’s failed, some might even say, his deliberate effort to fail, in succeeding to overturn the City Council’s super majority vote to extend term limits to a third term will become Lesnick’s political epitaph.
Mayor Spano has continued to raise money throughout his second term in office. Lesnick did not raise any money during the past seven years. Mayor Mike Spano’s Communications Department has voraciously praised Mayor Spano at every turn throughout his two terms in office. Lesnick has not written one op-ed article anywhere; engaged in no television and/or radio interview anywhere, focusing his efforts strictly by insinuating himself in one photo opportunity after another. His chosen outreach effort to enamor the electorate toward him never gained traction. Lesnick failed.
Another necessity too often overlooked, is the need to have a passionate entourage of supporters willing and immersed in a purposeful “Get Out The Vote” drive. Mayor Spano has done it in the past and can do so again at the drop of a hat. Chuck Lesnick has timidly beseeched the support and effort of the Indivisibles but has not engaged them effectively, stymieing there potential to his own detriment. Chuck Lesnick lacks the capacity to recognize the changing political landscape. He has revealed his inability to accommodate a changing political reality by which his sense of decorum was out of step. Even his leadership ability, such as it is with respect to the Indivisibles, newly defined progressive Democratic movement has failed. He had his chance and chose to squander it. Rest in Political Peace Mr. Lesnick.
If that were not enough, it was months ago that Yonkers Tribune advised our readers that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo was backing a third term for Mayor Mike Spano. Now we learn that should Chuck Lesnick even contemplate a formal effort to enter the race for Mayor of Yonkers challenging incumbent Mayor Mike Spano, Governor Cuomo will officially endorse the re-election effort of Mike Spano for a third term in office.
With support from Governor Cuomo, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senate Conference Majority Leader, Carl Heastie, Assembly Speaker and long time supporter of Yonkers, Senator Shelley Mayer, and Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, there are no excuses for greater prospects and potential to at last be realized after many years of unconsummated hope.