Residents skeptical of Mount Vernon's plan to overhaul city charter

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MOUNT VERNON -

Some residents in Mount Vernon are skeptical over a proposed plan to overhaul the city's charter in hopes of improving the efficiency of city government.

Derickson Lawrence, the chair of the Charter Revision Commission, says a revised charter is the best way to improve the city's finances. Lawrence is part of the newly formed 13-member Mount Vernon Charter Revision Commission.

The group shared its recommended framework Thursday for financial accountability, transparency and development. The commission's proposed changes include annual audits, quarterly financial reports showing the city's fiscal condition, an updated comprehensive plan for economic growth and a review of the city charter.

Mount Vernon lost its Moody's rating earlier this year because of its bad financial standing. Lawrence says he's looking to get the city back on track.

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Some residents say they are hesitant about the proposal.

'You aren't even getting to the basic heart of the problem," says Lou Young.

The commission will take the public's remarks into consideration before putting the proposed changes on the ballot in November.

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