Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard Declares a State of Emergency Over Public Safety Concerns
By Hezi Aris

eHezi Business, Community, Emergency Services, Governance, Hezitorial, History, Law, Mt. Vernon, People, Police Department News, Political Analysis, Politics, Unions 3 Comments

The “gross negligence and dereliction of duty” Hezitorial

 

Bronxville Tribune / Greenburgh Tribune / Mount Vernon Tribune / Ossining Tribune / Westchester Tribune / Yonkers Tribune / Yorktown Tribune Publisher / Editor and the Blog Talk Radio broadcast Westchester On the Level Host Hezi Aris.

MOUNT VERNON, NY — July 18, 2021 — Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard declared the obvious: the vehicles necessary to sustain public safety have been permitted to deteriorate to the point of being considered dilapidated and unsafe to operate. The known crisis has been a long standing concern. It is recognized that the Mount Vernon Police Department (MVPD) as vigilant and focused on their responsibilities as they are cannot function. The bills for gasoline have not been paid by, you guessed it, Mount Vernon Comptroller Deborah Reynolds. Mayor Patterson-Howard paid for gasoline some months ago. She did so again earlier this past week.

But there is more. The Mount Vernon Department of Public works fleet of trucks are in need of repair. Over half-a-million dollars in unpaid repair bills cannot be undertaken by the city’s troubled police, fire and public works vehicles.

Patterson-Howard said the city was facing a crisis that threatened public safety. She cited $500,000 in unpaid equipment bills needed to upkeep the vehicles that have been permitted to languished due to a lack of payment. The mayor pointed an accusatory finger at Mount Vernon Comptroller Deborah Reynolds. Ms. Reynolds who was sworn into office 3 ½ years ago, revealed her conduct to be, at best, defined as “gross negligence and dereliction of duty” as noted by the Mount Vernon mayor.

Taxpayers are known to have called Mount Vernon City Hall asserting that they had submitted check payment for taxes but the checks had yet to be cashed months after being sent. This too has been going on for years.

The DPW garage where equipment is housed is falling apart. The roof does not, in fact cannot keep the rain from entering the building interior, causing even further damage to the I repaired roof and the equipment within. 

Last week the city had to also suspend yard waste pickup  for the balance of the month due to the fact that there were an insufficient number of operational trucks to address the    issue. In fact, only 8 of of 14 trucks are operational! “The treads are getting ready to come off,” Patterson-Howard said in a video from the DPW yard she posted on Facebook. “Our workers can’t continue to operate in this condition.” DPW Commissioner Damani Bush advised the tires on the trucks are bald and are a safety hazard to operate in the condition they are in.

While Mount Vernonites suffer the travails, indignity, and safety concerns of these issues, every conceivable effort to ameliorate such concerns has languished in the courts, despite directives demanded by various judges. It is as if the court’s directives have been summarily dismissed and languish in the annals of history. 

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has advised Ms. Reynolds of standards that are universally accepted, but she does not comply. Perhaps her capacity to adopt such accepted practice is beyond her proficiency,

The fact that Ms. Reynolds will not be running for a second term may be the only resolution Mount Vernon will get. In the meanwhile the city is destined to suffer until the end of the year.

eHeziMount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard Declares a State of Emergency Over Public Safety Concerns
By Hezi Aris

Comments 3

  1. It seems to me that this comptroller is trying to do as much damage as possible on her way out. Too many emotions and a whole lotta nepotism running throughout Mt Vernon politics. I think they should hire someone from way outside of Mt Vernon politics as its clear a fresh set of unattached, neutral minds needs to be sought.

  2. The first order of business for any state in America is to protect the health and well-being of its taxpayers.Mount Vernon has been mismanaged for yrs. The taxpayers and union workers have suffered enough, why hasn’t the state taken over this city? Could politics be more important then the people?

  3. Seems the issue is not only with the comptroller’s dereliction of her duties but also the City Charter and by extension the City Council and City Officials.

    “Failure to establish adequate financial oversight policies and procedures..” was only one of the glaring highlights of the audit by State Comptroller DiNapoli.

    This is probably what’s impeding other officials like the Gov., the DA or the AG from holding her accountable. She is covered in the blood of the Charter.

    It was probably crafted long ago with the influence of some who did not wish too strict of an oversight.

    The incoming comptroller must seek to hire someone qualified and experienced to help in deciphering what has been going on, and to help him put the fiscal affairs of the city on track.
    There will be no time, given the publicized state of affairs and the issues raised in DiNapoli’s audit for on the job learning.

    This he must do, with full realization that his new role and function are not emotionally connected to his prior relationship as chief of staff.

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