MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – After departing the Mount Vernon City Council to make a run for city comptroller, Marcus Griffith is poised to reclaim his seat after winning the Democratic Primary last month.
Griffith was appointed to the City Council in 2008 to fill a vacant seat. He’s currently the vice chair of the Mount Vernon Planning Board and works as a consultant for Fortune 50 companies.
According to Griffith – who has worked for some of the country’s largest companies during his 20-year career – his business background and political experience will fill a vital need in the city.
“I have two pieces of specialty that the city needs right now. I’m a finance guy by trade and I deal with a lot of financial systems,” Griffith said. “I’ve been on the Westchester County and Mount Vernon Planning Boards for 15 years. That’s not a trade I went to school for, but when you combine the finance and planning experience, you have a strong person that understands what the city needs.”
Outside of his official work, Griffith is an active member of the community, volunteering as part of the Mount Vernon NAACP, the city’s Youth Community Outreach Program, Mount Vernon Day Care Center and All Island Association.
Griffith – along with fellow Democratic Primary winners Roberta Apuzzo and Yuhanna Edwards – will join current council members Richard Thomas and acting President Deborah Reynolds to comprise the all-Democrat City Council.
Edwards, Griffith and Apuzzo will each run unopposed in the Nov. 5 election after garnering more votes than Damaris Mone, Damon Jones, Maria Caraballo and Andre Bailey in the primary.
In order to regain the community’s trust, Griffith said that it was important to increase transparency in the government and to inform citizens about the limited powers of the city council.
“We need to educate the people on how government works. We need to have more education forums to inform the community about the function of its government,” he said. “We need to explain that government is slow and changes are supposed to be slow. Sometimes you have to bring them into the governmental world and warm them up so they understand where you’re coming from.”
Residents expressed hope that with limited turnover in the ranks of the City Council, the city can once again become a viable hot spot for residents all over the county.
“Mount Vernon used to be one of the finest places to be. We’ve come on some hard times, but there’s still a great city here,” Lamar Jenkins, 51, said near City Hall. “We have a pretty good group of officials who can turn things around.”
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