MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis, who has come under public scrutiny from the community in recent weeks, promised that better times are coming in his second State of the City address since returning to office.
Davis stressed the importance of the “three Cs,” communication, collaboration and cooperation between the community and both elected and appointed officials.
“Our city has a rich past and the potential for a prosperous future,” he said. “To realize that prosperity, we have to be willing to come together as a community to reap the benefits of hard work and sacrifice. We have to see the possibilities others see in our community.”
The mayor spoke often about the difficult year Mount Vernon had in 2012, saying that his 15 months in office have not been enough time to fix the problems that have plagued the city.
“We’re navigating our way clear after one of the most difficult years in recent memory. 15 months in office is not enough time to wipe off the rust that has built in the city the last four years,” he said. “However, it’s enough time to assess plans and direct efforts toward a positive conclusion.”
In regards to the crime and police department that have become a problem in the city, Davis said that public safety needs to be a priority and officers need to do a better job of practicing community policing.
“Citizens are concerned about crime and their future. It’s damaging the community spirit among too many people,” he said. “We need our police department walking in our neighborhoods, forming relationships and being ready to help us stop street crimes.”
Davis added that in order to make Mount Vernon a safer place, the community needs to come together for the good of every resident.
“The perception that Mount Vernon is riddled with crime has negatively affected the community for too long. We must all buy in to making our city safe,” he said. “Nearly every victim [last year] was a young person yet to reach their prime. We cannot tolerate this for another minute.”
After approximately 45 minutes, Davis concluded his speech to rousing applause.
“Will history record that we made excuses for our failure to meet today’s challenges,” he said. “Will we dance or sit it out? I hope you dance.”
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