Tell Mount Vernon City Council to Come Clean about Lauren Carter!

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On January 28, 2020 Deputy City Clerk Lauren Carter was fired without a legal vote by the Mount Vernon City Council.  After serving as Deputy City Clerk for nine years with a spotless record, City Councilman Marcus A. Griffith presented Lauren with a letter signed by City Council President Lisa A. Copeland informing her it was her last day.  

It isn’t clear if two of the other three City Council members were aware of the firing but City Councilwoman Delia Farquharson says she was not informed and did not agree with the decision.

Section 32 of the Mount Vernon City Charter states that legislative power rests with the City Council.  The City Charter also outlines when City Council meetings are held (Section 35), that acts of the City Council must be determined by a roll call of its members (Section 36), that the votes of members shall be entered into full on the journal (Section 37), and the recording of ordinances-votes of the City Council-shall be kept on file by the City Clerk  (Section 39).

In other words, the firing of Lauren Carter was illegal!

Why the backroom maneuvers? Why did the City Council not follow proper procedure and take a public vote to either elevate Lauren Carter to City Clerk or vote to remove her?

Lauren’s competence and character are not in dispute. She has served as Deputy City Clerk for nine years without controversy. She has served the public with dignity and grace during all of the chaos some of the current Council members are responsible for creating. Lauren knows what she is doing. Now, some members of this Council seek to remove her – one of the most stable human assets in City Hall.

This is nothing short of retaliation for political allegiances because Lauren supported Andre Wallace when he ran formayor. This is all too familiar in the City of Mount Vernon!  After years of chaos at City Hall, Mount Vernon went to the polls believing “a new breeze was blowing” – that citizens could finally believe the bickering and political chicanery might stop!

Yet, less than one month into the administration of Mayor Shawn Patterson-Howard, two rogue City Council members have attempted to remove Lauren Carter for no good cause while Mayor Patterson-Howard says she doesn’t involve herself in these matters. It seems the buck does not stop with our new mayor and backroom deals are business as usual!  

Why is that when our new mayor campaigned on being a change agent, on being a consensus builder, and on being a unifierMount Vernon is more divisive and volatile than ever? We need the stability and experience Lauren Carter brings to Mount Vernon – not one more political crony!

Sign the petition demanding the Mount Vernon City Council follow due process as outlined by the City Charter and take a public vote to either remove Lauren Carter as Deputy City Clerk or appoint her to the position of City Clerk – a position for which she is uniquely qualified.

Please sign by February 13, 2020.