In Our Opinion
Mount Vernon Mayoral Primary Would Be A Good Thing
We would welcome a primary for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of the City of Mount Vernon. In reality, given the City’s overwhelmingly Democratic registration, a primary would be the only opportunity for the voters to register their approval of, or dissatisfaction with, incumbent Ernie Davis’, and his administration’s, performance.
After all, Mayor Davis has been in power for 12 long years, plenty of time to have done his best work. Why not let the voters voice their opinion at the polls? To be sure, We are not endorsing anyone at this time, nor advocating the overthrow of Mr. Davis’ administration though, truth be told, We do have a bone or two to pick with him. We simply feel that Clinton Young, a County Legislator, and, anyone else who may desire to run for Mayor, ought to be given the chance to challenge Mayor Davis in a primary. A primary would insure the fact that major concerns such as violent crime, school security lapses, decent affordable housing, blighted areas, property taxes, the deteriorating Public Library, to name just a few, will get a good airing out. Perhaps some new ideas might surface. There’s always room for improvement. And, there is nothing quite like a good debate to stimulate the marketplace of new ideas and solutions.
We are a little disappointed with Democratic Chairwoman Serapher Conn- Halevi’s resistance to Legislator Young’s desire to challenge the status-quo. Frankly, her comments seem rather ingenuous, particularly her statement to The Journal News, "It seems like we should all stay together." And, referring to Mayor Davis, "He’s done a great job. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it." To Serapher We say, if the majority of Mount Vernon residents agree with your assessment, Mayor Davis has nothing to fear from a primary challenge. However, if he does not enjoy such broad support, then conducting a primary will be tantamount to a public referendum, and that would certainly be a good thing. Surely, we wouldn’t want to be taking our taxpayers for granted now, would we?
As for County Democratic Chairman, and County Democratic Election Commissioner Reginald LaFayette’s remarks, The Guardian is not at all surprised by his comment that Clinton Young’s primary challenge would be an "unfortunate development." Mr. LaFayette, who is seeking a $28,000 pay raise as Election Commissioner, and whose service in that position is clearly in conflict with his Chairmanship of the County Democratic Committee, long ago surrendered whatever modicum of integrity he brought to public service when he sold his soul to Larry Schwartz for so many pieces of silver.
Notwithstanding all those, like LaFayette and others whose survival is directly dependent upon maintaining the status-quo, irrespective of the public good, We believe a Democratic Primary for Mayor of Mount Vernon would be a very good thing. And, We would encourage perhaps more than one challenger to come forward, and thus really open the window to fresh air and fresh ideas.