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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Congressman Eliot Engel Speaks Out on the Atlantic Development

Statement from U.S. Congressman ELIOT ENGEL

RALLY FOR ATLANTIC DEVELOPMENT

JULY 20, 2011

            I’m sorry I cannot be with you today, but I am in Washington trying to stop the Republicans from doing to the country what they are trying to do to Mount Vernon.

            This is an opportunity to help Mount Vernon’s economic development and put people back to work by building housing, one of life’s necessities. But the county Board of Acquisition and Contract is thwarting the will of the people and its elected representatives by stalling the project.

            The County Board of Legislators approved the project, twice, the second time to override the County Executive’s veto. The money has been set aside in the County budget, but still not allowed to flow to this project.

            Building new housing is a giant first step to developing a neighborhood and, eventually, a city. The money used to build housing circulates throughout the community helping neighborhood merchants and, through taxes, the city and the county. Housing helps to develop and strengthen the middle class, which is the economic backbone of our country.

            But this is not only for housing. Atlantic Development will create new retail space, renovate the municipal parking garage, and enhance the downtown area with new lighting, paving, and landscaping. Plus an estimated 400 new jobs.  

            Now is when government should be helping development, when the economy is down and people are out of work. It is when times are bad that government must step in to help. It is during the good times that government isn’t needed. The Republicans have it exactly backwards.

            Mount Vernon needs housing, and it needs redevelopment. Westchester County will benefit from this project.

            This is the time for the government to step in and jump-start our economic comeback. The people demand it, the economy demands it. The people have spoken; they want this housing and downtown redevelopment, and County government must listen to them. This is a strong and vital project that will make Mount Vernon a stronger and more vibrant city.

Mayor Young, Vice Chairman Lyndon Williams & Community Leaders Rally for the Atlantic Development

Mayor Young Holds Rally to Move Atlantic Development Project forward

 

On July 20, 2011 Mt. Vernon Mayor Clinton Young, Vice-Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators Lyndon Williams, community and church leaders, and business owners rallied in downtown Mount Vernon in support of Atlantic Development Group’s revitalization project. The project will completely revive downtown Mount Vernon, creating new retail space and housing, renovations to the municipal parking garage, and will enhance the downtown streetscape with lighting, paving, and landscaping. In total, the project will create 305 construction jobs and an estimated 76 permanent jobs in the city with the highest unemployment rate in Westchester County. The final $4 million needed to complete the project is being held up by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

 “This project is so important to Mount Vernon’s downtown revitalization efforts,” said Mount Vernon Mayor Clinton I. Young, Jr. “The development offers numerous benefits to the citizens of Mount Vernon, including jobs, local vendor participation, infrastructure improvements, as well as boosting the tax base. We are not asking for a handout. This is a good business decision for Westchester. In fact, the county will recoup its investment in less than six years. I call on the County Executive to reverse this misguided decision,” said Mayor Young. 

Vice Chairman Williams said both Democrats and Republicans support this project

“The Westchester County Board of Legislators both Democrats and Republican members overwhelmingly approved this project because of the benefits it brings to the County of Westchester. More importantly, it is imperative that Westchester’s reputation in the business community is not tarnished by holding up a project, which the county had expressly encouraged the developer to proceed with and incur substantial cost and investments. Westchester cannot be serious about economic development when the county government cannot be trusted, due to broken promises,” Lyndon Williams, Vice Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, who represents Mount Vernon in the 13th District.

 

 “Given that the funding for the Mt. Vernon project has already been budgeted, it seems that a project like this would be expedited by the County Executive rather than halted,” said Rev. Dr. Elliott Baisden, Pastor of the Community Church at the Circle. “This will provide needed housing and new retail space that will not only stimulate the local economy, but provide jobs and aid in the re-development of Mt. Vernon’s downtown corridor, and that is just what this city needs.”

 “My family and I have invested our lives in our business on Gramatan Avenue with blood, sweat and tears. We would like to be here for years to come and this project will go a long way in making that happen,” said Carla Basso, owner of USA Brazillian and Siminho Meat Market.

 “This is the mathematics of economic development: Invest no more public sector capital than necessary to achieve project feasibility — no more, but by no means, no less,” stated G. Lamont Blackstone, Principal of G. L. Blackstone & Associates LLC.

Local Business Owner Augustine Lee advocates for the Atlantic Development Project

 The $120 million residential and retail project planned in downtown Mt. Vernon will take place in 3 phases. The project includes a 14-story residential rental building with 159 housing units; a 10-story, 131 unit market-rate building; and an 8-story 60-unit building for those 65 and older.  Additionally, there will be approximately 20,000 square feet of new retail space, extensive streetscape improvements in the immediate area and Hartley Park, and renovations to the municipal parking garage.

 The Westchester County Board of Legislators approved the funding for the project, which was later vetoed by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. The Board of Legislators then overrode his veto by a 15 to 2 vote in May 2011. The project is currently being held up by County Executive Astorino, who has refused to provide the $4 million in funding passed by the legislature, which is needed to complete it.  However, given the projected sales tax, the $4 million would be repaid to the county in just 6 years.

 “This attempt at the second unchecked veto by the County Executive and another non elected appointee undermines the very core of our democracy and County, state and federal laws,” noted Vice Chairman Lyndon Williams.  

 There are extensive annual economic benefits for both Mt. Vernon and Westchester County.  The project will contribute to the overall economy of Mount Vernon through the day-to-day expenditures of operating the buildings as well as the benefits of the creation of new middle income households.  The annual benefits to the county from this project are estimated to be around $12.5 million per year.

Mayor Young said this development will bring over 300 jobs and economic development in Mount Vernon's downtown area

 

“For many years, Westchester County has clearly benefited from the low income housing built in the city. Now that we want to build better housing, attract a stronger middle class, it appears as though we’re being punished for all the good work we’ve done all these years in helping Westchester County,” said Mayor Young.

 

 

 

Zoning Board Meeting: July 19, 2011

Boxing returns to the Doles Center July 22

MAYOR CLINTON I. YOUNG, JR., The Mount Vernon Dept. of Recreation in partnership with Throwaway Kids Foundation present Boxing at the Doles
July 22nd
Doors open at 6pm
first bout starts at 7pm
Call (914) 665-2420
PRESENTS

Regular Meeting of the Mount Vernon Urban Renewal Agency

 

Regular Meeting of the Mount Vernon Urban Renewal Agency

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

9:30 A.M.

Mayors Conference Room

Download Agenda Here

Mayor Clinton I. Young, Jr. and Westchester County Board Legis. Vice Chairman Lyndon Williams Fight for the Atlantic Development Project on Journal News Editorial Spotlight

Please see link below:

Video of Editorial Spotlight

 

 

 

Proposed Changes to Ethics Code

The Board of Ethics is proposing an amendment to Chapter 24 of the Code of City of Mount Vernon entitled, “ETHICS, CODE OF” by adding political activity prohibitions and whistleblower protection.  The amendments are as follows:

E. Whistle Blower Protection.

(1) Neither the city nor any person, including City officers and employees, may take or threaten to take, directly or indirectly, official or personal action, including but not limited to discharge, discipline, personal attack, harassment, intimidation, or change in job, salary, or responsibilities, against any official, employee, or other person (or against any member of their family) because that person, or a person acting on his or her behalf, (a) reports, verbally or in writing, or files a complaint with the Board of Ethics or (b) is requested by the Board of Ethics to participate in an investigation, hearing, or inquiry, or is involved in a court action relating either to the alleged violation or to evidence presented or given as part of a Board of Ethics investigation or hearing or  for acting or refusing to act as required by the City’s Ethics Code and/or Article 18 of the General Municipal Law.  The provisions of this section are not applicable when the complainant, witness, or reporter of a violation made accusations or other statements that were malicious and false.

(2) Any City officer or employee who violates section 1 has committed an ethics violation.

(3) In resolving a complaint that a City officer or employee has violated this section, the Board of Ethics may recommend that a retaliatory personnel action be reversed.

(4) With regard to making a report of information concerning conduct which any City officer, employee or other knows or reasonably believes to involve corruption, criminal activity, conflict of interest, gross mismanagement or abuse of authority by another city officer or employee, which concerns his or her office or employment, all City Officers, employees and others are hereby advised of the State of New York Whistleblower Laws Section 740 & Civil Service Law Section 75-b and should be guided accordingly.  Those laws are hereby included by reference and are a part hereof of this section entitled Whistleblower Laws.

(5) City officers, employees and others are hereby advised that a report of information regarding issues stated in section 4 above can be made to the Board of Ethics and will be handled in accordance with the same Board of Ethics rules and regulations for reported violations of the Ethics Code and Article 18 of the General Municipal Law.

(F) Political Activity.

(1) An official, employee, or municipal candidate may not knowingly request, or authorize anyone else to request, that any subordinate or potential future subordinate participate in an election campaign or make a political contribution.

(2) No candidate for any elected office of the City and no City officer or employee shall knowingly request, or knowingly authorize any person to request, that any of the following persons participate in any political campaign activity in connection with any campaign for City elected office:

(a) A City officer or employee; or

(b) any person who has received a financial benefit from the City within the prior twelve (12) months, including but not limited to persons that have contracts to supply goods and services to the City.

Nothing in this subsection shall require that individual names of City officers and employees be deleted from general mailing lists soliciting campaign contributions from City residents, generally, or by geographic area.

(3) Disclosure is required when a person or corporation makes a campaign contribution to a City officer or employee in the prior twelve (12) months in excess of an aggregate total amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) where that person or corporation is engaged in a professional contract with the City.  The disclosure shall be made in writing and shall be retained in the City Clerk’s Office as well as in the records of the Board of Ethics.  Nothing herein shall require recusal by the City officer or employee; solely disclosure.

(4) No City officer or employee shall engage in any political campaign activity while on duty for the city, with the use of city funds, supplies, vehicles, or facilities, or during any period of time during which he or she is normally expected to perform services for the city, for which compensation is paid.

(5) No City officer or employee shall solicit any subordinate to engage in political campaign activity on behalf of any candidate for any elected office, including but not limited to City elected office.

(6) No City officer or employee shall request any subordinate to change their political affiliation.

(7) Nothing herein shall prevent any City officer or employee from voluntarily: engaging in any political campaign activity, voting, making a campaign contribution, engaging in free speech, assembling for political purposes, or engaging in other acts not prohibited in this section. For further information regarding the proposed amendment, please contact members of the Board of Ethics at mountvernonethics@hotmail.com.

Memorial Field Status Update, July 2011

Get the accurate and up to date information on Memorial Field. Log on to www.cmvny.com

TIMETABLE SHEET 7-14-11 UPDATE 

Download the Latest “Keys to City Hall” Newsletter

Board of Ethics

A regular meeting of the Board of Ethics will be held on Thursday July 7, 2011 at 10:00 am in the City Council Committee Room second floor City Hall, Mount Vernon, NY.

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