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Mount Vernon Man Wants Appeals Board For Buildings Department

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon resident Samuel Rivers is urging the City Council to establish an appeals board for the city’s Buildings Department to give residents a chance to challenge the department's rulings.

Rivers said the board is supposed to exist in case residents disagree with a decision made by the department. He said an appeals board is necessary because without it, too much power is given to the Buildings Department and residents have no place to go to if they disagree with the department’s decisions.

“It’s just too much power for one department to have,” Rivers said. “We’re supposed to have an appeals board, but I haven’t seen it yet. The department can give a variance, but we need an appeals board to override it if that is necessary in a particular case.”

Council member Richard Thomas said Rivers makes a great point and the city should establish an appeals board. Still, Thomas said, it is a matter of finding people in the city willing to sit on the board before any action to establish it is taken.

“We need to look at how the members would be appointed,” Thomas said. “We’ll take a look at the guidelines on that.”

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