Latimer calls on Mount Vernon officials to get along

Posted: Updated:

Westchester County Executive George Latimer is calling on the three branches of the Mount Vernon city government to get along in their heated battle over Memorial Field’s renovation and future.

Latimer says he also wants to know how millions of dollars have been spent.

The news comes days after Mayor Richard Thomas tore up the long-term lease of Kela Tennis and evicted it from Memorial Field.

Early Friday morning, under the cover of darkness, the mayor had Kela Tennis' protective bubble deflated, and now crews seem poised to raze the retaining wall to so they can reclaim part of the city-owned land to build an eight-lane track by the fall. 

The controversial move incited members of the tennis club to verbally attack the mayor, and prompted the City Council to pass an emergency resolution, giving control of the field and its future to the county.

The discourse over Memorial Field has gotten the attention of Latimer, who grew up in Mount Vernon.  Latimer says he's growing frustrated by the infighting, and believes the mayor needs to do a better job forming a consensus on this project.

“I don't have dictatorial powers and neither does he. We have to work with each other and other people in a cooperative fashion,” says Latimer.

Latimer is also demanding the city account for the $2 million of county money that's already been spent on the field and a commitment they will adhere to the agreement they have with the county to complete the park for the good of the residents.

Mayor Richard Thomas has said he welcomes the county as a partner on Memorial Field, but insists he should be the one taking the lead on the project.

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