How to Fix the Broken Boiler at City Hall, Support DPW, and Help the People of MV
Here we go again… City Hall is closed due to a broken boiler and four feet of water flooding the mechanical room. With the coming temperatures, can you imagine the damage if a pipe were to freeze and burst in the building? The risk is real and the price of replacing original historic documents would be astronomical - if even possible. This situation was completely avoidable and it is of urgency that repairs be made immediately. With the sewer dealing looming... how can we expect to fix broken sewers if City Hall cannot process payments for routine building maintenance? Below I share how we must support DPW and how we can fix the boiler on both a short-term and long-term basis. RESPECT THE PEOPLE OF MOUNT VERNON & RESPECT DPW
The disrespect by City Hall to the People of Mount Vernon and hardworking workers in the Department of Public Works continues. I always stood with the Teamsters 456, and I was proud to join them yesterday to protest for fair treatment and proper pay for the overtime they worked during the COVID-19 pandemic. The response from City Hall was unfortunate but predictable. Both the Mayor and Comptroller exchanged insults and blamed each other for not fulfilling the obligations to pay for essential work. This comes at the heels of a Federal Judge ordering the Comptroller to stop the stalemate and pay the bills related to the other crisis we face, that is, broken sewers. HOW TO FIX THE COMPTROLLER PROBLEM TODAY
We know the problem. And we know of an immediate solution. It involves the Mayor and City Council President using their power at the Board of Estimate to stop the “fiscal hostage situation” with the Comptroller. Instead of prolonging the problem, they can solve the problem and jumpstart the “financial healing of Mount Vernon” by switching banks and balancing the books to pay the bills – with or without the help of the current Comptroller. Think about it. If the Mayor and City Council President were to act, the situation with the Teamsters 456 could be resolved along with settling countless claims from vendors who are owed for providing the city with goods and services in good faith. MORE IDEAS ON HOW TO HELP CITY HALL While we patiently wait for City leaders to act, I want to offer some ideas on how to re-open City Hall. SHORT TERM SOLUTION FOR THE BROKEN BOILER
First, to fix the broken boiler at City Hall, the estimated cost is $60,000. This will replace the heating system and remediate the water damage. If I were Comptroller today, and if emergency monies were not available, I would call the City’s bank and ask them to partner with us to make the emergency repair. City Hall should never close. The People’s business must never be stopped. If the bank rejected us – which I highly doubt, I would then turn to the business community and seek their support to rectify the issue. We would work collaboratively with the City Council and Mayor to create a “property tax credit program” in exchange for certain goods and services to the City. These are temporary measures to bridge us to a long-term solution. LONG TERM SOLUTION TO UPGRADE CITY PROPERTIES WITH SAVINGS & GRANT MONEY The long-term fix is partnering with the New York State Power Authority (NYPA) to upgrade and retro-fit all city properties using grants, energy savings, or low-interest loans from the state. If elected Comptroller, I would present a cost-benefit analysis showing that by partnering with NYPA, we could upgrade the windows, doors, and install new environmentally-friendly heating and cooling systems at both City Hall and the Ronald A. Blackwood Police Court Complex. This $13 million investment would create dozens of much-needed jobs, make air circulation in the building COVID ready, and largely be paid for by savings on our energy bills. In effect, City Hall would be open, and we would never ever hear the political excuses for why they closed City Hall at the People’s expense. THOMAS WILL ALWAYS OFFER SENSIBLE SOLUTIONS
As Comptroller, I will always present sound solutions to the complicated problems we face in a respectful, affordable, professional, and reasonable manner. I will work with anyone to make Mount Vernon better, stronger, safer, and cleaner! I was born, raised, and public-school educated (Traphagen, Davis, MVHS) in Mount Vernon. I am raising my family here and want to see us all succeed and defeat COVID-19. There is no incentive for continued failure. I am ALL IN to do the People’s business again… and with your support, we will accomplish effective results to secure Mount Vernon’s independent future. Thank you! Join Us! Join the Movement to Fix Mount Vernon and VOTE THOMAS for COMPTROLLER!