MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Mount Vernon City Council continues to seek a legislative aide who can help members make informed decisions regarding local law.
Typically, council members can turn to this aide for help while contemplating legislation, but for more than 18 months, this position has been vacant since Nichelle Johnson left the to become Mayor Ernest Davis’ chief of staff and to run the Law Department as corporation counsel.
Since Johnson’s departure, the council has been soliciting advice and assistance from the city clerk and an attorney from the Law Department who was assigned to the council. This poses a problem, because it leads to conflicts of interest and forces council members to do work the aide would normally do.
Members of the City Council must do their own research on pending legislation, according to Council President Yuhanna Edwards, which means there is no one to turn to for independent advice. The City Clerk’s Office has its own agenda and Jennifer Ratan – the attorney assigned to the council – attends council meetings, but answers to Johnson, who answers to Davis, not the council members.
The Human Resources Commission is currently in the process of drafting an advertisement for the position that will be posted this week. The interview process is expected to continue thereafter.
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