Change of Location for New Mural
The Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees agreed to embrace the message of a community group Tuesday evening and accept a “Black Lives Matter” mural as “government speech,” giving official sanction to the project.
In a unanimous vote the Trustees approved a proposed mural as the village’s own, giving the green light to the painting for a stretch of pavement near Columbus Park in the Washingtonville section of the village.
The project was originally proposed by a Washingtonviile neighborhood group that was looking for an alternative to its annual block party which had been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Group spokesman Jarrett Winchester said “It’s about unity. There was no attempt at having disunity on our part.”
The proposal was originally rejected two weeks ago over concerns that it might open a floodgate of requests from other groups wishing to make public pronouncements. More than 200 residents signed on to the virtual meeting and more than 40 spoke over the course of 2 hours making it one the largest attended village government meetings in recent history. “This would be a long overdue show of solidarity with the black community, ” said one speaker who gave her name as Olivia.
Others weren’t so sure. “The message seems to have a negative effect wherever it goes…I’m afraid that we’re going to have rioting and other negativity that’s going to come to the community,” said Harold Pele.
Mayor Tom Murphy said he’d meet with the people who proposed the project to decide the location of the mural. The BLM message was planned to be painted Madison Street near Grand and Old White Plains Road however it was agreed to place it near Columbus Park which is an integral location in the neighborhood. The mayor and village trustees assured taxpayers that only private funds would be used to cover costs of paint and other materials.
The Mamaroneck Village Board of Trustees can be viewed at https://youtu.be/d_uo6LPXr6A