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After Weeks Of Consternation, Mount Vernon City Council Approves 2019 Budget

Mount Vernon City Hall.
Mount Vernon City Hall. Photo Credit: Greg Maker

Weeks after a spending plan is traditionally approved, the Mount Vernon City Council has passed a $112 million budget for 2019 that represents a rise in city taxes of nearly 2 percent.

With a 4 to 1 vote, the City Council approved the budget, which will see the average taxpayer spending approximately $77 more this year. The passage comes after weeks of contention between Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas, Comptroller Deborah and the City Council over the city’s finances.

According to a lohud report, Councilwoman Janice Duarte was the one to vote against the budget, calling it “fundamentally flawed.” After abstaining from the vote, Thomas could not be immediately reached for comment late on Friday afternoon after his proposed budget was eschewed.

In an email on Friday, Thomas wrote that Judge Gerald Loehr warned the Mount Vernon City Council about failing to fund the restoration of Memorial Field in the budget.

“It is the court’s recommendation that the budget not be enacted unless or until it includes dollars set aside for the Memorial Field project which includes some funding identified for remediation, at least some significant number will be necessary,” Judge Loehr said. “Because to pass a budget without that is stating to the citizens that their access to the facility is being delayed, if not prevented.”

In a letter to Legislator Lyndon Williams earlier this week, Thomas said, “I not only opposed approving the Reynolds/Wallace budget, I vetoed their illegal budget. It did not contain funding for Memorial Field or for the repairs of our faltering sewers that are the subject of a binding agreement with the federal government, among other issues.”

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