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New Council President In Mount Vernon Pledges Reform

Newly elected Mount Vernon City Council President J. Yuhanna Edwards said reforming the budget process is his top goal for 2013.
Newly elected Mount Vernon City Council President J. Yuhanna Edwards said reforming the budget process is his top goal for 2013. Photo Credit: Greg Maker

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Newly elected City Council President J. Yuhanna Edwards said reforming the budget process tops his list of goals for 2013.

Edwards replaces Roberta Apuzzo as council president after being elected to that position by his colleagues on the City Council. Edwards said the main thing to focus on is to reform the budget process and have the City Council informed from its inception, not just when they are asked to vote.

“I think Mayor Davis over the years has been seen as a tyrant and frightens people,” Edwards said. “None of us on the council are afraid of anybody. We all love the people and love the city, and that’s a plus.”

Mayor Ernie Davis said the City Council will be in good hands under Edwards’ leadership, adding that Edwards played a pivotal role in crafting and adopting the 2013 city budget.

“I’ve known Yuhanna a long time, and he’s done some work in government for me when he was the commissioner of recreation,” Davis said. “He is stable and dependable.”

Edwards ran for mayor against Davis and Comptroller Maureen Walker in 2011. Now he will be sitting between the two on the Board of Estimate and Contract, which approves expenditures. Edwards said that the most important thing is for the three to get on the same page.

“I’m right in the middle of two giants,” Edwards said. “They are individuals, and I bring the power of four other colleagues to the board. I think we’ll come up with the right solutions and be able to debate.”

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