Section: News

Mount Vernon City Council reports $2.3 million deficit

Mount Vernon City Council met on Monday, Oct. 26, to discuss the city’s budget and plans for Election Day. 

Mount Vernon City Auditor Terry Scott said that as of October, the city’s 2020 revenue was $2.3 million short of what was predicted in 2019. Scott said it was unlikely that this funding gap could be diminished by the end of the year. “It isn’t going to go down, and it has all the likelihood of going up,” he said. 

He also expressed concern as the city looks towards planning its 2021 budget, adding that next year’s budget “will not be any better” due to the ongoing recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Scott emphasized the need for restraint in planning next year’s budget. “I don’t want to set us up for appropriations in 2021 that we know we will never be able to support,” he said. “If it’s something that’s very critical, we might take a look at those kinds of things … but we’re not looking for a wishlist.”

Mount Vernon Police Chief Robert K. Morgan was asked to speak about his department’s Election Day plans. He said his biggest concern was the possibility of protests based either on the outcome of the election or a delay in results. “We’re going to have officers patrolling and walking through polling places to, if nothing else, give a presence that we’re there and we’re going to keep the peace,” he said. 

Morgan did not specify what types of unrest the police were worried about, and implied the police would only be present to give the appearance of authority. 

Morgan also mentioned that he had met with Knox County Emergency Management Director Mark Maxwell and Knox County Sheriff David Shaffer on Monday morning to coordinate their strategies. He said they reached a consensus that the chance of a situation becoming violent was very low. 

 

The next Mount Vernon City Council meeting will be held on Nov. 9. The Zoom link to the meeting can be found on the City Council website. 

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