Budget talks reignite feud between mayor and Mount Vernon officialsPosted: Updated:
There's a budget battle underway in Mount Vernon that has the city’s mayor and other elected officials drawing lines in the sand.
Budget talks have reignited a long-standing personal feud between Mayor Richard Thomas and outgoing Comptroller Maureen Walker and City Council President Roberta Apuzzo.
Back in September, Thomas submitted his $118 million spending plan with a 4.9 percent tax levy increase. In it, he gave money to repair the city's aging sewer system, clean up Memorial Field and overhaul the DPW yard.
On Tuesday, Walker and Apuzzo effectively killed that budget and submitted their own $111 million plan that calls for hiring more police and firefighters while increasing the tax levy about 0.6 percent - the lowest in years.
Mayor Thomas says he will look at their calculations but insists he's not making any promises that he's on board.
“Some of the stuff they want to do is sabotaging our future and we're not going to let that happen,” says Thomas.
City leaders have until the end of the year to finalize their budget. The City Council has the ability to pass a final budget without the mayor's approval.