Author: Davis


Photo, The Future Society offering organized activity in Hartley Park



Mount Vernon, NY, July 18, 2012 – Mount Vernon’s Recreation Department is launching a “Throwback” park and playground program to bring the city’s parks and playgrounds back to life. “Sometimes it’s better to bring back tried and true programming that worked and enhances the summer playground and park experience”, said Mayor Ernest D. Davis. “Our playgrounds had a reputation for having creative things going on and we’re bringing that back to our neighborhoods”.


Most people growing up in Mount Vernon inn the decades leading up to the 1990’s remember playgrounds and parks having leaders and organized activities. In those days nearly everybody had lanyard string as well as registered and inspected bicycles courtesy of playground outreach programs. The Department of Recreation decided to pull this concept off the shelf and update it for youth this summer. Mount Vernon’s Summer Park Activation Program began on Monday, July 16 and will run until Friday, August 17.


“Over the next 6 weeks activities will take place at 6 key parks throughout the city every Monday – Friday”, said Recreation Commissioner Darren M. Morton. “Recreation staff and Youth Bureau employees will work as park and playground leaders, offering children and adults activities such as water games, arts and crafts, sports competitions, and other special activities”.


Session #1 – 10am – 11:30am

  • Purdy      Park – South 9th Ave, between 2nd St and 3rd      St.
  • Howard      Street Playground – Corner of Howard St. and N. High St.
  • Sophie      J. Mee Playground – South 3rd Ave, between 3rd St.      and 4th St.

Session #2 – 12noon – 1:30pm

  • Old      7th Avenue Playground – Between 2nd St. and 3rd      Street
  • Hartley      Park Playground – Corner Oakley
  • Fleetwood      Playground – Corner of Fleetwood Ave. and Broad St.


Families can also participate in Yoga instruction at Hutchinson Field by a certified yoga instructor (specific dates to be announced). Free ice skating and use of batting cages at Mount Vernon Ice Hutch will also be available.


Recreation programs are also scheduled for Hartley Park. The Future Society Inc. will conduct their increasingly popular fun activities for youth on July 27 and the Westchester County “Be Fit Mobile” will make an appearance on Friday, August 1. The County’s program will help people of all ages learn how to “have fun getting and keeping fit”. On Friday, August 10 parents can bring their children to the park for a free puppet show that begins at 12 noon.


For additional information, please call the Recreation Department at 914.665.2420.



Mount Vernon, New York, June 20, 2012 – More than 200 parents, youth, clergy and community leaders are expected to honor 30 high school seniors through the City of Mount Vernon Youth Bureau, Y-COP and the Afrikan Brotherhood’s King Solomon & Queen Sheba Afrikan Youth Celebration on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at the Macedonia Community Center. The King Solomon & Queen Sheba Afrikan Youth Celebration was modeled from the Afrikan Brotherhood’s annual event which acknowledges community involvement and leadership.


Both Mayor Ernest D. Davis and Executive Director DaMia Harris have been past recipients of the King Solomon & Queen Sheba Afrikan Honors. Mayor Davis stated, “I attended this event last year and was pleased to see the replication of the King Solomon/ Queen of Sheba event for our youth. When young people are encouraged by parents to graduate from high school and make community engagement a priority, we all benefit. We want the community to see that Mount Vernon is comprised of tomorrows leaders who care deeply about this city and their future


DaMia Harris stated, “the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau is extremely proud of the youth that have been selected as awardees, they have demonstrated civic responsibility by participating in community service and various Youth Bureau programs and have surpassed the milestone of high school competition.



Dinner will be provided. For further information, please contact Mr. Wayne Woodbury at the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau at (914)665-2344.


Please be advised that non-electric detonation devices, or blasting, will be used as part of site excavation in the central part of the Wartburg campus located on Wartburg Place right off of Lincoln Avenue from Friday June 22, 2012 until approximately through the end of July, 2012.

The blasting site will be more than 300 feet from property boundaries of the residences bordering the Wartburg campus. There is no cause for alarm. The Fire Department will closely monitor the on-site blasting throughout the blasting period and will be ready to address any situation that may arise.

Residents can expect to hear a series of warning horns prior to the actual blasting charges, and another afterwards notifying that the site is all clear. This will pattern will occur three times daily on days when blasting takes place. Flagmen will be posted at the entrance of the Wartburg campus to control vehicular and pedestrian traffic since in the immediate vicinity of the construction site. All vehicular and pedestrian traffic will be prohibited during the charges.

Please contact Wartburg’s Director of Safety and Security at 914-513-5169 or the Home’s Director of Planning at 914-513-5223 should you have any questions or concerns during the expected four to five week blasting period.


Mount Vernon, New York, June 19, 2012– A Mount Vernon man has been arraigned and remanded on assault charges in 2 shootings in the city.

Joseph Heflin

On Friday June 15th, Mount Vernon Police Detectives arrested Joseph Heflin, 40 years old, of 4 West 4th Street in Mount Vernon, in the South Bronx where he had fled to after shooting at another Mount Vernon resident the week before.

On Saturday June 9th at 10:30 PM, Heflin shot at a resident who was standing in front of 5 West 4th Street.  On Monday June 11th at approximately 11:45 A.M. Heflin shot at the same Mount Vernon man again who was sitting in a parked car at the corner of 4th Avenue and 4th Street.

Heflin has an extensive arrest record in Mount Vernon and New York City, having been arrested 18 times and convicted 14 times, including 4 previous Felony convictions. He was charged in his most recent arrest with 2 counts of Attempted Assault 1st degree, a C Felony.

The investigation is on-going.  Anyone who witnessed or with information on either of the 2 shootings is urged to contact the Mount Vernon Police Detective Division at 914-665-2510. 



Mayor Ernest D. Davis will welcome the Honourable Kang Woon-tae, Mayor of Gwangju Metropolitan City, South Korea to Mount Vernon on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.


“Mount Vernon is a community composed of people from around the globe”, said Mayor Davis. “It’s good to build relationships with communities in countries representative of our citizenry”.


Gwangju Metropolitan City, the 6th largest city in South Korea, is located in the heart of the agricultural Jeolla region. The city is famous for its rich and diverse cuisine and is known as the city of music and art.


Though 7,000 miles separate the two cities, both Mayor Davis and Mayor Woon-tae are faced with similar challenges in addressing the needs of their citienry and are strengthening relationships and developing partnerships to encourage economic development in their communities.


The mayors understand that only by stimulating business development will jobs be created. “If people don’t have a way to make money, they can’t spend money to keep the local economy growing. Our job is to improve our local business climate so that people can have a way to earn a living” said Mayor Davis.




WHEN:          Wednesday, June 20, 2012

                        3:00 pm


WHERE:        City Hall

                        Mount Vernon, New York

City Man Arrested on Felony Drug Charges

Mark C. Watsons

Mount Vernon, New York, June 19, 2012 – A 36-year-old Mount Vernon man was arraigned in Mount Vernon City Court following his arrest last Thursday night on drug charges and is due in city court tomorrow morning for a felony hearing.

Last week Mount Police Detectives from the Narcotics Unit obtained search warrants for Mark C. Watsons’ car as well as his 33 North St. residence.

Watson was stopped by Detectives and Patrol Officers while driving in the area of E. Sidney and Cottage Avenues. Thirty-four bags of phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP, were recovered from the car. During a subsequent search of Watson’s apartment, Detectives seized approximately 16 ounces of the PCP as well as more than one-half pound of marihuana.

Watson was charged with 1st Degree and 4th Degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and 3rd Degree Criminal Possession of Marihuana. All of the charges are felonies. Watson’s arrest record dates back to 1996 and includes fifteen total arrests, eight of them felonies. He has three felony convictions and two misdemeanor convictions.

Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Carl Bell is urging parents to closely monitor the behavior of their children for the side affects of PCP usage. “Mount Vernon has seen an increase in PCP related crimes including random acts of violence and displays of irrational behavior. We need everyone to not only be cautious when dealing with persons using PCP but also careful when coming in contact with durgs found in the home or injested during illegal recreational use. PCP is one of those drugs can be absorbed through the skin or by inhalation even if you’re not a user and its side effects can be dangerous, if not downright fatal”.

PCP, commonly referred to as angel dust, comes in both powder and liquid forms and typically it is sprayed onto leafy material such as cannabis, mint, oregano, parsley, or ginger leaves, then smoked. Low dosage of the drug can produce a numbness in the extremities and intoxication, characterized by staggering, unsteady gait, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and loss of balance while high doses may lead to convulsions.

PCP is addicting and repeated use often leads to psychological dependence, craving, and compulsive PCP-seeking behavior that may include delusions and hallucinations. Psychological effects include severe changes in body image, paranoia and feelings of loss of self.

People who use PCP for long periods report memory loss, difficulties with speech and thinking, depression, and sometimes extreme weight loss among heavy users.

Telltale signs of PCP injestion include rage, redness of skin, dilated pupils, delusions, amnesia, rapid movement of the eyes, excitation, and skin dryness. It can be found in liquid, powder or pill form. More commonly smoked, PCP can also be snorted or eaten.

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Reincarnated “Arts on Third Festival” to be held September 16

Judy Williams addressing the many volunteers that packed the Mayor's Conference Room to join "Arts on Third" committees.

          Over four years ago, Mayor Ernest D. Davis was removed from office in a highly contested mayoral election by Clinton I. Young – shocking many. Regrettably, many of Davis’ popular programs were quietly discontinued by Young – one of them being the annual “Arts on Third Festival,” which was routinely attended by over 20,000 people and was a huge public relations bonanza for Mount Vernon.

          When Davis was sworn in for a fourth term this past January, he promised to bring back the arts and all the programs that were popular with the Mount Vernon populace – especially “Arts on Third.”

          On Tuesday, June 12, nearly 100 volunteers packed the Mayor’s Conference Room at City Hall to attend an “Arts on Third” organization meeting, led by Judy Williams and Shari Harris, coordinators of the event this year.

          The volunteers were full of energy, excited and were actually rejoicing about the fact that “Arts on Third” has been reincarnated by Mayor Davis.

          During the meeting the volunteers had the opportunity to join numerous small committees in which members will help in the area of marketing, logistics, sports, entertainment, etc., all in a concerted effort to make the return of “Arts on Third” a huge success.  READ MORE



CONTACT: Timothy M. Costello, Assistant Superintendent for Business
Telephone: (914) 665-5215
Fax: (914) 665-7548


MOUNT VERNON (June 11, 2012) – On Friday, June 8, 2012, Moody’s Investor Service upgraded the underlying rating of Mount Vernon City Schools from Baa1 to A3, signaling things are looking better in Mount Vernon. School Board and City Officials will hold a press conference to discuss this encouraging development on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 11:00 am in the Conference Room at the Board of Education, 165 North Columbus Avenue, Mount Vernon, New York.

“This is good news for the school district and for the community” said Superintendent Waveline Bennett-Conroy. “It reflects the underlying strength of the community’s sizeable tax base and socioeconomic indicators as well as our management’s stabilization of financial operations and the steady accumulation of a satisfactory level of reserves.”

The A3 rating from Moody’s Investor Service, on the “big three” national credit rating agencies, is an improvement over the Baa1 rating the school district previously received. This rating moves the district’s creditworthiness from average to above average relative to other municipal or tax-exempt issuers/issues.

“Moody’s has noted the district’s efforts to improve it financial position and to manage it debt burden particularly during a challenging period of state and federal aid declines,” said Costello.

This upgrade will improve the district’s ability to sell its debt. The district is in the process of moving construction forward this summer at several buildings to implement the EXCEL funded projects. Because of the upgrade, the district should be able to obtain lower interest costs and lower insurance costs on the debt it issues.

“The district continues to face challenges from tax base declines, a history of tax certiorari claims and the (new) property tax cap”, said Costello.

Mayor Ernest D. Davis sees this as a great sign for the entire city. “The recession has caused us to look more closely at ways to reduce spending through belt tightening and shared service. We’re working hard together to reduce taxpayer liability and an improved bond rating for the schools is clear indication that we’re regaining our fiscal health and watching how we spend money”, said Mayor Davis.

“The district must continue to manage it finances with discipline and restraint to maintain its progress”, said Costello.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please call Timothy M. Costello, Assistant Superintendent for Business at 665-5215 or by email at

School District Bond Rating Raised

WHEN: Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WHERE: Board Room
Mount Vernon Board of Education
165 North Columbus Avenue
Mount Vernon, New York

TIME: 11:00 am

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The Mount Vernon City School District strives to become a world class organization
which focuses on the progress of every student, one child at a time.