Rochester Politics

WITH FEDS WEAKENED, IT’S TIME TO EMPOWER NEW YORK’S PROSECUTORS

By Todd Kaminsky

‘Over the last decade, when New Yorkers read their newspapers in the morning, chances were that they would see some news about public corruption. They learned about pay-to-play, single-source contracts and no-show jobs. They shook their heads at how their trusted leaders abused power and robbed taxpayers.

Because of aggressive and effective work by federal prosecutors, however, many dirty politicians were indicted and convicted. Even if there was corruption, there was also punishment.

Not so much anymore.NOW  when New Yorkers open their papers, they read about how dirty politicians got away with it.

Four of New York’s legislative leaders who were convicted on corruption charges have now had their convictions overturned or vacated. Among those are former state Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno; former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver; and now Bruno’s replacement, Dean Skelos, who had his case overturned this week.

Those three were found to have shamelessly abused their positions to bilk taxpayers. Even worse, courts found they used  their power to upend democracy. Now they’re free.

. . . New Yorkers should be outraged. They deserve action. The state Legislature reconvenes in January. These reforms should be at the top of the agenda. Without being able to count on the feds to clean up corruption, we are more vulnerable than ever. We must take immediate steps to protect our taxpayer dollars – and our democracy.

If the State Legislature hasn’t addressed these issues yet, they probably are not going to.  This is yet another reason to hold a constitutional convention.  

Be outraged enough to change the system.  Vote “Yes” for a constitutional convention and vote Independent for mayor.

Prosecutors promise new trial as Skelos decision vacated

By Bill Mahoney

ALBANY — A federal appeals court overturned the 2015 conviction of former New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos Tuesday — the second conviction of a New York political figure to be overturned this year and the latest chapter in former U.S.Attorney Preet Bharara’s string of corruption prosecutions, which continue to shake Albany.

The court left the door open for federal prosecutors to bring a new case against  Skelos, as appellate judges did when they vacated former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s conviction in July.

. . . “[T]he abundant record evidence that Dean Skelos traded his vote for legislation beneficial to [medical malpractice administrator Physicians Reciprocal Insurers] and [real estate development firm] Glenwood in exchange for benefits to his son — such as a $20,000 payment from Glenwood for no work by Adam Skelos and a no-show job for Adam Skelos at PRI, both at Dean Skelos’s request — is sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to infer the existence of a quid pro quo arrangement with regard to both these schemes,” the court wrote.

. . . Bharara, the former U.S.ATTORNEY  for the Southern District, tweeted: “As with Sheldon Silver, SDNY will retry Dean and Adam Skelos. SCOTUS made it harder to punish corruption, but justice should prevail here.”

How is it that the Supreme Court of the United States makes it harder to punish corruption when they should be protecting the American public from corrupt elected leaders?

Register “No Party” and vote Independent and put an end to the corruption in New York and across the country.

 

As U.N. gathers, de Blasio urges fellow mayors to fight Trump on climate, immigration

By Gloria Pazmino 

“As the United Nations General Assembly got underway in New York City on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio crisscrossed Manhattan speaking at two events highlighting the issues of climate change and immigration, taking both opportunities to criticize President Donald Trump.

. . . De Blasio heaped praise on other mayors from around the world who have instituted policies similar to New York’s IDNYC municipal ID program and policies that prevent law enforcement from asking a person’s immigration status.

The mayor urged his colleagues to fight federal policies they saw as deleterious to residents.

I think sometimes as mayors of cities, we get very frustrated for good reason when we know there is a better way and an edict comes from above and we don’t have a choice in the matter or we see a missed opportunity to do good because the government above us won’t act,” he said. “But I remind you we have more power sometimes than we take account  for.””

Mayor DeBlasio had very good intentions when he took office but soon found out that party politics derailed his inentions and replaced them with their own.

Party politicians may know there is a better way but they don’t have a choice in the matter because they must go along with the party.  We see this in Rochester all the time.

Party politicans don’t do what is best for the people they do what is best for the party.

Register “No Party”, vote Independent and begin the movement to put our government into the hands of the people where it belongs.

Politicians, Promises, and Getting Real

By Paul Krugman

“About elections: The fact that Trump is in the White House suggests that politicians can get away with telling voters just about anything that sounds good. After all, Trump promised to cut taxes, protect Social Security and Medicare from cuts, provide health insurance to all Americans and pay off the national debt, and he paid no price for the obvious inconsistency of these promises.”

This is what party politicians do in order to get elected.  They will say anything and do little.

Vote Independent and be free from the political rhetoric and lies that serve the party and enslave the people!

US Chamber VP urges Rochester leaders to work toward change

By: Velvet Spicer

“. . . “We may be beyond a tipping point where there are just too many people, too much communication, too much pressure and too many crises for Senators and Representatives to manage without some serious rethinking of congressional operations and capacity,” wrote Kathy Goldschmidt, author of the report. “The cornerstone institution of our democracy must be equipped to respond to the challenges we face. Congress must adapt in the face of social transformation so it can effectively govern and lead.”

“After the Great Recession of 2008, we really haven’t recovered. When you look at the number of jobs that were lost, we’ve replaced those jobs, those jobs are back, but certainly there are many unemployed and underemployed people,” he explained. “We have not been growing as robustly as we should. If you talk to the economists, we’re still not back to the long-term potential of the economy that we should be coming up on 10 years after that crisis.”

And, Eidshaug said, as individuals and as a country we have become more partisan.”

This is why we, the people, must vote for a constitutional convention.  We can change New York by removing the assembly and becoming a unicameral state thereby saving tax payers money and creating a more effective and efficient governing body.

First, vote Independent, then vote “Yes” and begin the change that puts government back in the hands of the people.

Democratic primary debates: What did we learn?

By: Gino Fanelli

“. . . Ultimately, the debate itself appeared to be an embodiment of one of the final questions asked of the candidates on the splintering and the uniting of the local Democratic party. The retorts became a circle of pointed fingers; from Barnhart to Warren, from Warren to Sheppard and Barnhart.”

The members of the Democratic party are fighting amongst themselves revealing their political and private “dirty laundry” to the public.

Removing party politics from government will remove the bickering that takes place during a primary run so that candidates can concentrate on the issues and the public recieves a full view of the positions of all candidates.

Register “No Party” vote Independent make politicians more responsible to the people.

Mayoral candidates answer questions on public safety views

By Sean Lahman

“Here  is a quick look at the people who want to be mayor of Rochester.”

It seems from the article title and tag line that the Democrat & Chronicle is as biased toward the leadership of our city as City Newspaper.

Neither acknowledge the other candidates running for mayor, Tony Micciche, Lori Thomas and Alex White.

This should be a clear indication of how party politics works for the party and not for the people.  The Democratic Party obviously “own” the news media in Rochester, controlling the thoughts and perceptions of its citizens.

Break free of party politics and vote Independent!  Don’t be told what to do, choose what is best to do for all of Rochester’s citizens!

Report: Rochester ranks low for raising a family

By: Velvet Spicer

Rochester ranks among the worst metro areas nationwide to raise a family, a new report contends.

In its 2017 Best & Worst Places to Raise a Family, WalletHub compared the most populated 150 cities based on 41 key metrics ranging from cost of housing and quality of local school and health care systems to opportunities for fun and recreation.

Rochester ranked 108th on the report.

. . . Rochester’s worst rank was 148th in the socioeconomic category, while the city ranked 100th for its affordability. Broken down further, Rochester ranked 148th for its high percentage of families living below the poverty level—behind just Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit, Mich.—while the city ranked 147th for its high divorce rate.

While some data collected for the report was subjective, WalletHub acknowledged, its experts noted that a family’s quality of life both directly and indirectly affect their children and their chance for future success, particularly in terms of stress levels and psychological problems.

Safety, public school quality and diversity ranked among the top indicators of a city’s quality when determining where to raise a family, WalletHub’s experts noted.”

Rochester ranks low in nearly every area of success for a city, educationally, economically, socially, and safety. 

When will we stop doing business as usual?

When will we elect the leadership necessary to move Rochester towards success?

Register “No Party” and vote Independent. 

Make a change to make a difference!

 

DiNapoli touts Finger Lakes’ economic growth

By: Velvet Spicer

The Finger Lakes region  is rebounding from both the Great Recession  and downsizing at Rochester’s Big Three employers thanks in part to growth in the technology, health care, agriculture and tourism industries, a new report shows.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli was in Canandaigua Wednesday to discuss the findings of the office’s new Finger Lakes Region Economic Profile. DiNapoli said despite the recent spate of economic growth, there still is work to be done.

“As the economy of the Finger Lakes transforms, the region will benefit from the expansion in high-tech sectors and the reliance on its agricultural roots,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “However, retaining skilled workers and tackling persistent pockets of rural and urban poverty remain a challenge. Programs and policies should build upon the area’s traditional strengths in high-tech industries, food manufacturing and agriculture.

The Finger Lakes region—consisting of Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties—is home to more than 1.2 million people concentrated primarily in Rochester and its suburbs. Since 2010, the region’s population has dropped slightly, officials noted.

From 2010 to 2015, the Finger Lakes region  saw stronger job growth than most other parts of the state in science, technology, engineering and math employment. The metro area ranked 22nd nationally for STEM job concentration, and the average annual pay for STEM employees was $80,700, 74 percent higher than non-STEM job titles.

“The strength and success of the Finger Lakes economy rests in our landscape, our products and our people,” said Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua.

It is obvious from the next article that Rochester was not part of the STEM job ranking statistics and that its citizens are not STEM employees but are in the non-STEM pool of job titles.

This is more proof that party politics has divided our county into areas of poverty in the city controlled by the Democrats and the wealthy county areas controlled by the Republicans.

How long will we, the people, allow this dicotomy to exist, training city residents to be the servants while county residents master the technology to seek employment in the STEM job market?

 

 

Rochester jobless rate climbs in July

“Rochester’s roller coaster economy continued its bumpy ride in July, with an increase in the jobless rate and a decrease in the number of private-sector jobs, the state Department of Labor reported this week.

The Rochester metropolitan area lost 1,900 nonfarm jobs, or 0.4 percent, since July 2016, while the private sector shed 1,400 jobs, or 0.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted. Nonfarm jobs include private sector and government jobs.

Rochester’s unemployment rate rose to 5 percent in July from 4.8 percent a year ago, the Department of Labor reported. Statewide, just two regions saw a decrease in their jobless rates last month.”

Rochester’s citizens deserve jobs that will last through seasonal growth and decline. Creating and growing community co-ops that work together to be self-sustaining is one answer to joblessness and ending poverty. 

Register and vote Independent to change our future to becoming a successful, self sustaining city.

 

Report: Rochester has second-largest gap in homeownership across races

By Velvet Spicer

Rochester has the second-highest gap in homeownership rates across races in the country, a new report shows.

When measuring homeownership rates in the 50 largest metro areas nationwide, Apartment List found that in Rochester 70.1 percent of white households own their homes, compared with 21.2 percent for black households, 35.6 percent for Hispanic households and 48 percent for Asian households.

Rochester’s 37.1 percent average gap in homeownership rates across races was second behind Buffalo, where the gap is 40.5 percent. In Buffalo, the white homeownership rate is 67.8 percent, while the average homeownership rate across minority races is just 27.3 percent, according to the report.

Utilizing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Apartment List also found that Rochester is the third least diverse metro of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.

On a national level, the report found that 64.4 percent of white households are homeowners, compared with 54 percent of Asian households, 41.1 percent of Hispanic households and 32.7 percent of black households.

Rochester’s citizens do not need more “affordable” housing, they need the opportunity to own their own homes, to create community co-ops so that they can stay home and raise their own children.

Vote Independent and free yourselves from the institutional racism that maintains and promotes poverty in our city.

Convention opponents assail ‘special interests’ while spending big bucks

ALBANY — Opponents of this year’s referendum on whether the state should hold a constitutional convention insist that wealthy interests are supporting the vote, hoping to take protected rights away from New Yorkers. . .

. . . But the exact opposite has happened, at least so far.

PoliticoNewYork reviewed the spending records of more than 200 individuals and organizations that have taken a position on the convention. Convention opponents spent $10.6 million on lobbying in New York State in 2016 on all manner of issues. Those who support the constitutional convention spent $353,585, again on a wide range of issues.

The money spent on state elections was even more disproportionate. Convention foes contributed $13.7 million to state-level candidates, parties, and super PACs last year. That’s 400 times as much as the $35,800 that convention supporters gave.

In total, convention opponents outspent the supposed “well-funded special interests” who back the convention vote $24.2 million to $389,000.

Bill Samuels, a Democratic activist and a convention supporter, lashed out at the message of convention opponents. “It’s a lie,” he said. “It’s just that simple.”

“They make a big mistake if they’re going to be Trump-like and just make false statements or send out fake alerts that fool people,” he added. “That’s terrible.”

. . . Convention supporters have generally fallen into two categories in recent decades: organizations like good government groups that want electionLAW  and campaign finance reforms, issues the Legislature would prefer to ignore, and supporters of complicated and unsexy issues like a reorganization of the court system, which have a hard time capturing the Legislature’s attention. These causes are unlikely to attract millions of dollars of outside spending.

. . . “Throughout the country organizations with deep pockets and ideological agendas have executed successful campaigns to advance a national constitutional convention, which we all know could lead to policies that are not in line with New York values,” he said. “Many donors to that campaign live right here in New York and we believe they are ready and willing to invest millions in a campaign that would give them an opportunity to roll back many of the critical rights New York’s constitution protects.”

If the constitutional convention leads to policies that are not in line with “New York values” doesn’t that suggest that New York values are changing?

What “critical rights” does the current constitution protect?  We have the highest tax rate, the highest poverty rate, the lowest educational success rate and a government that is so corrupt that many of its leaders have been put out of their positions.

This is exactly why we must vote “Yes” for a constitutional convention, because the mere idea of one scares the elite into spending millions to protect their “status quo”.

 

Metro Justice 

On Charlottesville and Combating White Supremacy in Rochester

As part of their campaign to combat white supremacy in Rochester, Metro Justice sent this message out to its readers.

In their e-mail they state:

“Last week, the Mayor’s office released a report showing that at every level in Rochester  – from hourly worker to top executives and professionals — black workers are paid less than white workers.”

How could this be since several of our city’s mayors have been African-American?

Act Rochester

Race and Ethnicity in the Nine-County Greater Rochester Area

In the Act Rochester “Hard Facts” reports:

“While discrimination and racism have played and are continuing to play significant roles in American history and culture, “Hard Facts” documents that for almost every indicator, our Rochester region is performing even more poorly than New York State and the country.”

We, the citizens of Rochester, have been the subject of racial discrimination for decades.  The current political power has done little to change the face of racism during any administration.

In order to change our situation we must change the structure of political power in Rochester.  

Political party power is not working for us!  Our tax dollars are not being spent on us!

Register and vote “No Party” and begin a new power in Rochester, the power of the people!

 

 

Mayor on Golisano $25M theater pledge: ‘George Eastman… would have built the whole thing’

WHEC

So the cost of the performing arts center costs $80 million. And so $25 million is not enough to build the entire facility. So if Tom Golisano came and said, ‘I want a performing arts center in downtown Rochester and here’s a check for $80 million,’ I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be here having this discussion today.

City seeks $20M for performing arts center at Midtown’s Parcel 5

Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s proposed 3,000-seat theater is pinned at $85 million, anchoring a $130 million multiuse project with developer Robert Morgan that also includes retail  and a 13-story, 150-unit residential tower.

Warren selected the concept back in April. In a letter to Cuomo dated Monday, the mayor described the project as game-changing and “the last leg of the journey” to revitalize the Midtown block. That effort was made possible thanks in large part to a $55 million commitment from the state in 2008.

After accounting for the $25 million already pledged by billionaire businessman and philanthropist Thomas Golisano, the state aid request accounts for a third of the remaining theater cost. The rest would come from fundraising — theater organizers say they already have the lobby reserved by a potential benefactor — and an anticipated $10 million from tax credit financing.

From a $55 million dollar project to a $130 million dollar project that would cost taxpayers and initial $20 million dollars in State funding when the community wants a Green Space project at Parcel 5 is the very definition of ineffective and inefficient government.

What happened so drastically between March and August that caused this gigantic turnaround?

State money is OUR money, our tax dollars, used to fund a project that will not support OUR community.

 

Airbnb spent more than $404G on lobbying push in first half of 2017

BY GLENN BLAIN

“ALBANY – Airbnb dug deep into its wallet this year to try and influenceNEW YORK  lawmakers.

The popular home-sharing site spent more than $404,200 on lobbying during the first six months of the year, including $345,593 paid directly  to some of Albany’s most influential lobbyists, according to a financial disclosure statement recently filed with the state. . .

The company’s spending for the period — which covered the state Legislature’s entire session — was more than the $349,722 it spent during the same time frame a year ago and ranked it among the top spenders at the Capitol.

By comparison, New York  State United Teachers, traditionally one of Albany’s most influential players, doled out $566,587 on lobbying in the first half of 2017. The city’s teachers union, another key player in Albany, spent more than $419,000, according to records filed with the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. ”

A lobbyist is an activist who seeks to persuade members of the government (like members of Congress) to enact legislation that would benefit their group. 

Aren’t elected officials supposed to carry the voice of their constituents into the process of government?

Does their “persuasion” come in the form of monetary payoffs?

This is why special interest groups and unions don’t want a constitutional convention.  It might put an end to their persuasive methods by making the use of money and other methods of bribery illegal, increasing the voice of the people in legislation.

Vote for a constitutional convention.  Make your voice heard by our elected officials.

 

 

Fix New York’s government? Some say key is new constitution

By The Associated Press

“Corruption and a rigged political system are battle cries of both sides in a debate over whether New Yorkers should vote this fall to rewrite the state constitution.

. . . “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” said Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, a government reform advocacy group that favors a convention. “Our democracy isn’t working for the average New Yorker and the way we’re going to fix it is through a constitutional convention.”

. . . “There’s a mechanism to amend the constitution inch by inch through the legislative process. That’s how it should be done.”

That process has added over 200 amendments to the state constitution since 1894, which is the last time a convention produced a new constitution. Efforts of the last two conventions, in 1938 and 1967, were rejected by the electorate.

. . . “The real money involved in this is the labor unions that are trying to block a convention because they have great sway with this government and don’t want it to change,” said Gerald Benjamin, a political science professor and co-editor of a new book, “New York’s Broken Constitution: The Governance Crisis and the Path to Renewed Greatness.”

Benjamin said no constitutional convention in New York’s history has diminished rights or protections, but have added many new ones.

. . . “What they share is fear of what might happen against their interests,” Benjamin said. “They have an investment in the status quo.”

. . . More than 30 lawmakers have left office facing allegations of corruption or misconduct since 2000.

“A certain number of people are irate about illegal conduct by elected officials, but there’s no big hue and cry on the streets,” Kremer said. “People are worried about jobs, their homes, the economy.”

But Dadey of Citizens Union said support for the campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders shows that voters want change. “New Yorkers are simply fed up,” he said.”

If we, the people, want to form a more perfect union, we must challenge the “status quo” and vote for a constitutional convention.  It is an opportunity that only arises every twenty years.

Bike-sharing to launch downtown

A long-awaited mode of public transportation will be up and running downtown this weekend.

Bike-sharing will be available to cyclists beginning Saturday as part of a collaboration between Reconnect Rochester, the city of Rochester and Zagster Inc. Unveiling of the smart-phone app-based transport will take place at the Public Market  from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bike-sharing operates unlike many other forms of public transportation. Bike-share stations, or kiosks, are set up in public areas around the city, where a number of bikes are available for rent. Primarily operated via a smart-phone app, the service requires users to punch the bike number into the app, which will generate a code to unlock the bike and begin timing the ride.

In Rochester, rides will start at $1 and during the kickoff, the promotional code RideOnReconnect will allow individuals to receive $5 in ride credits.

. . . Because each station, or kiosk, costs $9,000 annually—and the city is not funding the project, although  it has agreed to sponsor a station at City Hall—Reconnect Rochester launched a crowdfunding campaign to get the ball rolling. Corporate sponsors can have their names displayed on stations, bikes and elsewhere.

Zagster is a venture-funded startup based in Massachusetts that designs, builds and operates bike-share programs in more than 160 areas nationwide. The company was founded in Philadelphia in 2007.

This is another “out-of-town” project that city taxpayers are paying for and funding. Our tax dollars will sponsor a station and we will create profits for a Massachusetts company by using their service.

How will this add jobs and reduce poverty in Rochester?  Could contracts have included a Rochester based company office that employed citizens to manage their service and repair their bicycles?

We cannot continue to see the good without recognizing the truth.  This is another project that draws money out of the Rochester community while adding little in return.

Recognize the truth, register and vote Independent.

Locust Club to hold mayoral candidate forum on Monday

As reported by WHEC: The Rochester Police Locust Club will be holding a forum for Rochester mayoral candidates next Monday on public safety issues.

Lovely Warren, James Sheppard, Rachel Barnhart and Tony Micchiche will be participating in the forum, which will take place a 6:00 P.M. at the Rochester Police Locust Club at 1425 Lexington Avenue.

 

In addition to being able to give their views on public safety and law enforcement, they will also be able to answer questions from Locust Club members. The Locust Club represents Rochester-area law enforcement.

In a press release, Locust Club President Michael Mazzeo said that “It is important for our members to be able to hear where each of these candidates stands on issues involving officer safety and working conditions because they affect our ability to effectively protect the citizens of this city.”

It is interesting that two mayoral candidates, myself and Alex White, both of whom openly support the Police Accountability Board, were not invited to attend this forum.  I guess they already know were we stand and it is not a position they want the party politicians to take.

Register and vote “No Party” and be Independent of the party politics that supports police brutality and racial injustice.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter sent out this message via e-mail which states:

I’ve said from the beginning that the STOCK Act, the law that I wrote to crack down on insider trading by federal officials, would be an important tool in stopping corruption in government and increasing transparency in the halls of Congress.

 

This month, Public Citizen, a non-profit, non-partisan public advocacy group, helped prove that point.

 

Public Citizen recently released a report that examines the impact the STOCK Act has had on trading activity by U.S. Senators. According to the group, this historic law has had a “dramatic impact on stock trading activity,” helping to reduce the value and number of stock trades by 66 percent.

 

This is a major improvement, but that doesn’t mean our work is done. Questionable and unethical stock activities by some members of Congress have recently sparked renewed concern about congressional insider training. That’s not all. The political intelligence industry, which is made up of Wall Street operatives who roam the halls of Congress in search of information that could influence stock trades, continues to pose a threat to full transparency in our government.

Our current government is controlled by Republican and Democratic legislative leaders who are only concerned with making money for themselves.  These individuals are voted into power by citizens who believe they will carry their voice to Capitol Hill.  

Register and vote “No Party” and begin to change the attitude of party politicians from working for the money to working for the people.

A Constitutional Convention for New York? This May Be the Year

ALBANY — Every 20 years, New Yorkers have the chance to vote whether they want to hold a constitutional convention to amend, tweak or otherwise improve the founding document of the state.

For the past half-century, voters have demurred. This year, however, academics, good-government groups and others believe the outcome of the ballot question in November may be different. And — perhaps no surprise — it has something to do with the current occupant of the White House.

“Trump’s election emphasizes how valuable it is for states to chart their own course,” said Peter J. Galie, author of “Ordered Liberty: A Constitutional History of New York” and a professor of political science at Canisius College in Buffalo. “We can put a right to clean air and water in our Constitution. If we want to add more labor protections, we can do it. That’s the beauty of federalism.”

This is the year to place the government in the hands of the people.  It is through this process that we can actually change our current system of education to one that guarantees every child an excellent education that concentrates on their gifts and talents, reduces class size, increases Art based curriculums, and offers a humanistic system of accountability.

Rochester gets new traffic court

By: Rochester Business Journal

The New York State Legislature has approved a bill which will allow Rochester officials to establish a local traffic court which will give city residents the same flexibility in adjudication of traffic infractions as their neighbors in suburban communities.

The measure was proposed by Mayor Lovely Warren last year, and passed the Legislature last month. The bill still must go to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be signed into law.

In other places, someone getting a traffic ticket gets more flexibility, such as a chance to work out a payment plan or pleading to a lesser charge, options not available in Rochester. The result can be a driver losing their driving privileges, which interferes their ability to get to a job or college classes.

The new law will apply to traffic infractions such as speeding, running a red light or failure to signal, but not parking violations. The new law will take effect 270 days after it is signed by Cuomo.

This new law will give the wealthy and priviledged more opportunity to escape the justice that is handed down on those individuals who are unable to afford a lawyer or be seen as articulate enough to speak for themselves.

This is another example of party politics that provides politicians the opportunity to present inconsequential legislation as important to all when it only benefits the elite.

Register and vote “No Party” and become Independent of a system that works for some but not for everyone.

 

Despite Exposés and Embarrassments, Hundreds of Judges Preside in New York Without Law Degrees

A review of the work of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct chronicles the costs of a tradition resistant to change.

by Joe Sexton

‘. . . In 2006, the Times listed the explanations for the enduring existence of untrained judges in New York State:

“The powerful idea that communities should choose their own destinies, including their own judges. The considerable costs of updating courtrooms and hiring lawyers to preside. The always-popular calls to keep lawyers out of people’s lives. And, not least, the power of the justices, who are often important players in local politics, wired into the same party mechanisms that produce the state’s lawmakers, judges and governors.”

People are being jailed, homes are being lost, families are being torn apart but it costs too much money to repair the system? Is there a considerable cost to update courtrooms and hiring lawyers or are taxpayer dollars being wasted on paying judges who are not working?

Judge still raking in $175K salary from jail

By Julia Marsh

A New York judge is raking in $175,500-a-year in her state-taxpayer-funded salary — for sitting in jail.

. . . The same law allows judges to take unlimited sick leave. The lax policy has benefited at least two severely overweight judges. Daniel J. McCullough of Queens was finally forced into retirement earlier this week after failing to show up to work for over three years because his morbid obesity kept him in the hospital and rehab center. All the while he was collecting a $193,000 salary and will still retire with a hefty pension.

Another judge, Elizabeth Shollenberger of suburban White Plains, landed a $175,500 seat— but her 400-pound weight prevented her from being able to climb the three steps to her courtroom bench. She’s on a fully paid, indefinite medical leave.”

This type of political party pandering that wastes taxpayer dollars may be the reason why New York State has an unacceptably high poverty rate.

Register and vote “No Party” and become Independent of the party politics that steal your hard earned money to pay for a system of citizen abuse.

 

Is ethics reform dead in Albany?

When the legislative session ended on June 21st , lawmakers left behind a lot of unfinished business , including a failure to act on ethics reform proposals in light of an economic development scandal in the Cuomo Administration.

There are majority party sponsors in each house of the legislature for a bill to add grater oversight to the state’s economic development contracts, but the measure failed to come to the floor for a vote. That’s  despite the fact that nine former associates of Governor Cuomo are have been charged with bribery and bid rigging, among other crimes, and are set to go on trial as early as the fall.

Ron Deutsch, with the union backed think tank Fiscal Policy Institute, says it’s a missed opportunity .

“It’s another sad day in Albany,” said Deutsch. “We have the largest bid  rigging scandal in state history, and we virtually ignored it.”

Party politics rejects ethics reform because there are few in Albany who are ethical, Republican or Democrat.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Register and vote Independent and create an ethical form of government that works for the people not the party.

LOVETT: Cuomo eyes possible ‘Faso-Collins federal tax’ on counties to offset $2.3B Medicaid hit

ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo is set to propose a tax  on counties that would take effect if Congress enacts a health care provision to shift the $2.3 billion local share of Medicaid outside New York City on to the state.

. . . “The Faso-Collins shell game cuts $2.3 billion in funding  to New York (state) and will force every resident of this state to pay a ‘Faso-Collins Federal tax’ added onto local property taxes  to make up the difference to avoid decimation of our health care system,” Cuomo wrote.

Faso said his plan gives the state until 2020 to plan for the change.

. . . “That’s plenty of time to reform its program and eliminate waste and duplication that is prevalent in the Medicaid system,” he said. “His refusal to do so means he’s willing to continue to stick it property  taxpayers.”

Cuomo aides argue the state has reformed its Medicaid program and kept spending increases at or below 2% the past seven years.

But state GOP party spokeswoman Jessica Proud, citing the independent Citizens Budget Commission, said the new budget actually increased spending by 3.75% and the state faces a $20 billion deficit in four years.

She also said that there is no guarantee counties will use the total savings from the Faso-Collins plan to lower property taxes  since they could put the money toward covering other mandates that are stretching their budgets. Imposing a tax would serve as a double hit on taxpayers, she said.

New York spends  more on Medicaid than Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania combined, but rather than figure out a way to control costs, Cuomo is rushing to raise taxes again,” Proud said.

We must look carefully at what we are told.  What may benefit us now may harm us in the future.  Party politics does not work for the people, it works for the party. 

Register and vote Independent and take control of the government.

 

Rochester City Council approves budgets for city and school district

WHEC News

The city council approved budgets for the City of Rochester and Rochester City School DistrictDURING  a meeting Tuesday night.

“I am pleased that again taxes will decrease for City homeowners, all while maintaining city services and amenities,” said Council President Loretta Scott inAN EMAILED statement.

The city budget was approved by a 9-0 vote while the school district budget passed by a vote of 8-1 with Councilmember Carolee Conklin voting “no.”

Ms. Conklin stated, ” This is a horrible waste of taxpayer dollars.” As the city’s Democrats again approve “the horrible waste of taxpayer dollars” we are given yet another reason to break free of the control of party politics.  Register and vote Independent and take back our city.

Cuomo prober finds $49 million in ‘sloppy’ billing on Buffalo Billion, other projects

By

The Manhattan attorney hired by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office to review state procedures in the aftermath of subpoenas related to the Buffalo Billion project has identified SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS” in the state’s handling of $49 million in bills.

. . . “Our extensive reviews of payment and performance issues found problems with the approval, review and inspection processes for the authorization for release of New York State funds relating to the Buffalo Billion and Nano projects,”

. . . TheDOCUMENTS also indicate the cost of the contract with Schwartz’s Guidepost firm jumped from $500,000 to more than $1 million because of the increased servicesREQUESTED by the Executive Chamber.

. . . the federal government cast a far more serious pall over the Buffalo Billion last September when then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara lodged charges of bid-riggingAGAINST eight men across the state as part of an expose of a “pay to play” culture.

The eight defendants, including Cuomo’s longtime friend Joseph Percoco and Buffalo businessman Louis Ciminelli, pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court to a range of corruption charges. They included bribery and extortion, all of which raised questions about the awarding of some of the Cuomo administration’s signature economic development projects in upstate, including the Buffalo Billion’sSOLARCITY construction contract won by LPCiminelli.”

Millions, possibly billions of taxpayer dollars are being stolen by party politicians who say the work for the people while they pour our money into the pockets of their friends and funders.

8 Years of Rust Show as New York Senate Ethics Panel Finally Meets

Effort to examine campaign funds sparks Albany legal battle

By JOE MAHONEY

ALBANY — The Republicans who control the State Senate are fighting an effort by a top elections enforcer to acquire copious documents kept by committees thatHELP their party, calling the inquiry a “political witchhunt.”

. . . Housekeeping committees have been criticized by government reformers for having the ability to amass unlimited contributions from corporate and otherSPECIAL interests seeking to exert influence over candidates and political parties.

. . . In a 2013 report, Common Cause/NY called housekeeping accounts loopholes that both campaign contributors and committees exploit to bypass donation limits. The advocacy group also argued that without tighter controls on big dollar donations, corruption wouldCONTINUE to flourish in New York politics.

“In New York, it’s become so easy to circumvent the (campaign finance) law, why would you bother breaking it?” Horner said.

. . . A spokesman for Senate Democrats, Mike Murphy, contended the legal fight over the GOP campaign committees’ records highlights the need for ethics reform at the statehouse.

If the Republicans are amassing unlimited contributions from corporate and other special interests then it is a safe bet the Democrats are as well.  It is becoming more and more obvious that money controls our government, not the people.  Register and vote Independent and take back the power of the people.

Foes of breakaway Democrats allege charter school ‘pay-to-play’

Group alleges independent panel accepts campaign donations from charter schools

An new report from an education advocacy group accuses members of the state Senate’s eight-member Independent Democratic Conference of betraying traditional public schools inEXCHANGE for campaign donations from charter school supporters.

The report, “Pay to Play: Charters Schools and the IDC,” is being issued by the Albany-based Alliance for Quality Education, a nonprofit that receives some of its funding fromTEACHERS unions, which have warred with charter schoolSUPPORTERS.

Since four members of the main Democratic conference broke away and formed the IDC in 2011, IDC senators or its campaign arm have received nearly $677,000 from affluent charter school supporters or their political action committees, the report states. The IDC has gradually expanded to eight members, and since 2012 has been allied with the chamber’s Republican conference in a “majority coalition.”

Democrats and Republicans working together to get rich.  Donations to campaigns win their elections while the public’s voice goes unheard.  Meanwhile our children are no more than pawns in a game of educational failure.  Register and vote as an Independent.  Stop the graft and start being listened to.

Labor Markets in the Age of Automation

BERKELEY – Advances in artificial intelligence and robotics are powering a new wave of automation, with machines matching or outperforming humans in a fast-growing range of tasks, including some that require complex cognitive capabilities and advanced degrees. This process has outpaced the expectations of experts; not surprisingly, its possible adverse effects on both the quantity and quality of employment have raised serious concerns.

. . . The activities most susceptible to automation in the near term are routine cognitive tasks like data collection and data processing, as well as routine manual and physical activities in structured, predictable environments. Such activities now account for 51% of US wages, and are most prevalent in sectors that employ large numbers of workers, including hotel and food services, manufacturing, and retail trade.

. . . On balance, automation reduces demand for low- and middle-skill labor in lower-paying routine tasks, while increasing demand for high-skill, high-earning labor performing abstract tasks that require technical and problem-solving skills. Simply put, technological change is skill-biased.

. . . Over the last 30 years or so, skill-biased technological change has fueled the polarization of both employment and wages, with median workers facing real wage stagnation and non-college-educated workers suffering a significant decline in their real earnings. Such polarization fuels rising inequality in the distribution of labor income, which in turn drives growth in overall income inequality – a dynamic that many economists, from David Autor to Thomas Piketty, have emphasized.

As the rich get richer the poor will get poorer as unskilled labor jobs will replace humans with machines.  Manuel labor jobs will be all that is left for those that have been mis-educated and under-educated.  Fewer jobs will cause crime to increase which will provide profits for the privitized prison complex, “The New Jim Crow”.

 

In Albany, Stipends Known as ‘Lulus’ Feed a Culture of Scandal

Research Foundation wrote off $57 million in SUNY Poly debt

Report: Rochester not a great spot for summer jobs

 If your children are on the prowl for a great summer job, Rochester probably is not the best place to look. A new report from WalletHub ranks Rochester in the bottom half of cities nationwide for summer jobs.

Unemployment rate rises in Rochester region in April

 The Rochester region lost thousands of nonfarm jobs in April and the region’s jobless rate increased year-over-year, the state Department of Labor reported Tuesday.

The Rochester metro area lost 4,500 nonfarm jobs, or 0.8 percent, while private-sector jobs fell by 4,100, or 0.9 percent, not seasonally adjusted. Rochester was one of three metro areas statewide with job losses in April.

The unemployment rate edged up to 4.6 percent in April from 4.5 percent a year ago.

No jobs for our youth and unemployment for adults means more crime and more poverty for Rochester’s residents.  It is time to vote for the only “No Party” candidate in order to stop the status quo and start on the way to a successful city.

Defendants seek dismissal, or separate trials, in Buffalo Billion case

By

Louis P. Ciminelli, Michael W. Laipple and Kevin C. Schuler, all former top executives of the LPCiminelli construction company . . .  indicted in the Buffalo Billion bribery and bid-rigging case are seeking to have the charges dismissed, or – if that fails – at least to be tried separately from the other defendants in the indictment. . .

The federal indictment described four different conspiracies around the state, including in Buffalo, with eight defendants. . .

The indictment, which underwent some revisions in a new version filed May 11, accuses the three men of engaging in a pay-to-play scheme that won LPCiminelli a $750 million contract for the construction of the Solar City plant in South Buffalo.

That project, a key part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion economic development package, was overseen by a not-for-profit State University of New York entity called Fort Schuyler Management Corp., which awarded the contract.

Todd Howe, a lobbyist and former staffer for Cuomo and his father, the late Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, was working as a consultant to SUNY Polytechnic Institute, whose job was to create public-private development partnerships.

The indictment alleges Howe took the bribes and worked with then-SUNY Polytechnic chief Alain Kaloyeros, who also was indicted, to rig the bids on the solar panel plant in LPCiminelli’s favor, after the Buffalo company made contributions to the Cuomo campaign.

How can this occur without the knowledge of Cuomo?  He is consistently unaware of the illegal activity that exists all around him.  This Trumpian like ignorance should not be tolerated when managing the State or the Nation.

$9.8M housing development in Gates opens

Albany to study impact of slavery in New York

ALBANY, N.Y. >> Legislators rolled out a bill Tuesday to create a state commission on the impact of slavery on New York and what kind of reparations should be made to the descendants of freed slaves.

These legislators don’t seem to realize that we have yet to be freed.  They are comitted to party politics which tells them that there are political ways to end the injustice of American laws.  Register and vote “No Party” and end the party politics that perpetuate our unjust legislative system of government.

New York Senators Were Paid For Others’ Jobs

Jesse McKinley

Stipends paid to Democrats to keep Republicans in power. Republicans paid for work not done.

It is clear that neither Democrats nor Republicans are above usurping tax payer dollars for their personal benefit. It is time to register and vote “No Party” so the voice of the people will be heard and our tax dollars will not be stolen.

We now know COMIDA is acting illegally!

COMIDA OKs $3.6M townhome project in East End
“A Home Leasing subsidiary received tax breaks Tuesday on a $3.6 million project to build more townhomes next to the Inner Loop redevelopment project.”

Townhouses and taxbreaks only benefit the wealthy.  Rochester residents deserve the opportunity to own their own homes, increasing the city’s tax base and releasing us from the “Big Five” control of New York State.

For Group of Breakaway Democrats in New York, It Pays To Be No. 2

Jesse McKinley New York Times

 

Senate GOP blocks bid to expose Trump’s taxes

By Joe Mahoney CNHI State Reporter

May 2, 2017

May 4,2017

Mayor Warren clinches party endorsement with committee win

WHEC

Mayor Lovely Warren now has enough support to get her party’s endorsement in the mayoral race.

It comes after Mayor Warren got a win in the 27th district committee vote Wednesday evening.

Mayor Warren faces former Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard and former TV journalist Rachel Barnhart in the Democratic primary.

Statement from James Sheppard

While I truly respect the Party process, it is not a secret that no Democrat endorsed by the Democratic Party has gone on to win a Democratic Mayoral Primary in nearly three decades.”

Rachel Barnhart statement

“The Monroe County Democratic Committee designation process is the ultimate insider game. It is a battle of two party factions who have been at odds for decades. This process has picked the eventual winner only once in the last four contested mayoral races. I’ve participated in the process out of respect for the party, to speak with committee members and for the chance to engage with my opponents.”

Even he members of the Democratic party cannot agree as to who should be their leader.  No one party should lead all the people.  As a “No Party” candidate I will listen to everyone without bias or preference.

April 27,2017

Rochester comes in low on list of best cities for Hispanic entrepreneurs

 Rochester is not very friendly to Hispanic entrepreneurs, a new report contends.

In 2017’s Best Cities for Hispanic Entrepreneurs, WalletHub compared 150 of the largest cities nationwide across 21 key indicators of business friendliness to determine which regions were best for Hispanic and Latino business leaders.

Rochester ranked 135th. Buffalo ranked 143rd.

While Rochester’s Hispanic business-friendliness rank was 98th, the area ranked 144th in terms of Hispanic purchasing power. Rochester has one of the lowest median household incomes for Hispanics and Latinos, when adjusted for cost of living. The region ranked 130th, just ahead of Buffalo.

Rochester has shown itself to be a city of deep seated issues.  It is the mission of this candidate to not only address these issues but aleviate them.  Power to the people means power to all of Rochester’s citizens.

April 26, 2017

Unemployment rate dips; region loses jobs

 There was little to crow about in Rochester’s economy in March, with little improvement in the unemployment rate and the largest job loss statewide, the state Department of Labor reported Tuesday.

The jobless rate in Rochester last month was 4.8 percent, down slightly from 4.9 percent a year ago, not seasonally adjusted. But the region lost 4,400 nonfarm jobs, or 0.8 percent, and 3,900 private-sector jobs, or 0.9 percent. Nonfarm jobs include private sector and government jobs.

April 25, 2017

Mayor Warren Touts Jobs, Development in State of the City Address

By Ryan Whalen

“ROCHESTER, N.Y. — During the last State of the City Address of her first term in office, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren focused on progress and development she says is being made in all corners of the city.

“We’re building off of what we have done. We have reignited the city by working together,” said Warren (D).

Warren made the case for a second term—pointing to decreasing unemployment rate and noting 30,000 jobs have either been retained or created under her administration, numbers her opponents question.”

To cite statistics in the face of reality does not make for effective or efficient leadership.  The citizens of Rochester deserve a mayor who will work with all members of the community to create and institute decisions that lead to real change for the entire city.

April 24, 2017

Supervised drug-use sites in NYS? Health care providers, others make push

The Associated Press

“ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A group of health care providers, drug reform advocates and former users is launching a new effort to bring supervised drug consumption centers to New York state.

The facilities allow drug addicts to shoot up or consume their drugs in a safe, secure location under the supervision of medical personnel who can intervene in the event of an overdose.

Similar facilities are in use in other countries around the world but have faced political opposition in the U.S.

Supporters in the state of New York include a handful of Democratic lawmakers and Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, who has said it’s time the nation considers new ways to address the drug problem.”

After placing thousands of people in jail for life for selling illegal drugs, the health care industry wants to, once again capitalize on the unfortunate individuals addited to drugs.  Instead of discovering the reasons why drug use has become an epidemic in rural and suburban areas, they simply mean to make the problem socially acceptable by calling it a disease and treating it with perscribed pharmaceuticals capitalizing on health insurance payments.  Are we forgetting that methadone treatment facilities already exist?  It is time we address the problem and stop supporting the symptoms.

April 21, 2017

Gov. Cuomo announces $213M to fight heroin, opioid epidemic

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

“ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo on Wednesday said the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic was the “worst drug scourge” the nation has ever faced.

“This is worse than crack,” Cuomo said during an appearance in Suffolk County to herald $213 million in new state funding to fight the epidemic.

“This is worse than meth, this is worse than old-time heroin,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo cited statistics showing that 91 Americans die each day from heroin or opioid abuse and that 33,000 Americans died from the crisis in 2015.

Overcoming Opioids: The quest for less addictive drugs

The governor said the epidemic was especially prevalent in rural and suburban areas, including Long Island.

“It’s everywhere,” Cuomo said. “It can seduce you legally, which is where a lot of it starts.””

Our governor wasn’t concerned with the use of heroine when it was contained in the cities however now that it has spread to the suburbs it has become an epidemic and must be addressed.

What exactly does he mean “It can seduce you legally . . .”

Party politicians care less about the non-voting poor than they do about the voting middle and upper class.  The only way to change that is to register to vote as a “No Party” voter and then vote for the candidate who cares about the people not the party and their money.

April 18, 2017

How did Cuomo make $783,000 on memoir that sold 3,200 copies?

By

“ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo reported his income last year more than doubled from the previous year, thanks to another round of royalty payments on a 2014 HarperCollins memoir that saw lackluster sales.

In all, Cuomo has made $783,000 from HarperCollins for his book. The book sold 3,200 copies since it was published in the fall of 2014, according to tracking company NPD BookScan.

That works out to royalty payments to Cuomo of $245 per book.

“All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life’’ had an original list price of $29.99. New copies of the hardcover book were being sold Monday on Amazon for $13.05.”

Why ask for the taxes of party politicians when they can simply make claims such as this to justify their questionable incomes.

End the control of party politicians by registering as a “No Party” voter.

April 17, 2017

State budget does not please everyone

“The new state budget removes a requirement that Start-Up NY businesses report annually on how many jobs they’ve created and how much money they’ve invested in their operations in return for big tax breaks, state officials confirmed Thursday. The filings, a stipulation since Start-Up NY began three years ago, had been used by state agencies to determine companies’ continued eligibility. Failure to file a report resulted in removal from the program. The requirement was left out of the budget legislation by accident, State Budget Division spokesman Morris Peters said Thursday. “This change was an inadvertent omission,” he said.”

This is an example of innefficient government working against the people.  Tis is a tax funded program that now has no acccountability requirements.

April 13, 2017

Rochester police chief covered up alleged beating, lawyer says

It is for this reason that we, the people, citizens of Rochester, must begin to govern ourselves to no longer be disgarded as unimportant members of poverty to be treated as sub-groups to the “middle class” and elite.
 
This treatment will continue under the political party eye of Democrats and Republicans because they feel they are above the law that they control.
 
We must break free of the political control of party affiliation by registering as “No Party” voters who are aware of the issues and concerns of the public and will vote intelligently on them.
 
It is the only way to gain the respect we deserve.

April 11,2017

Audit finds RCSD payroll and procurement systems ‘rife with errors’

“An audit of the Rochester City School District’s spending has found its payroll and procurement systems “rife with errors,” the state comptroller’s office said Monday.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli called the district’s payroll processes disorganized, highly decentralized and said they are not administered uniformly, possibly costing taxpayers more money.

“The Rochester City School District needs to substantially overhaul how it is managing payroll and purchasing of goods and services,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Although the dollar amounts of many of the errors found by auditors were small, the sheer number of mistakes and their potential total dollar value is cause for significant concern.”

The school district has not implemented the controls and oversight procedures it needs to run a sound operation, he added. But he acknowledged the audit did not identify any instances of fraud or misappropriation of resources.”

We, the people, must begin to take an active interest in the way our government operates.  The hundreds of thousands of dollars lost in the mismanagement of educational dollars would have gone a long way in providing our students a better education.  Party politics is no longer advantageous to the successful operation of our government.

April 10, 2017

NYS has a budget; here’s what’s in and what’s out


FARM TO FOODBANK

The budget includes a tax credit for farmers who donate fruits, vegetables and other farm products to local food banks. Anti-hunger advocates and agriculture groups say it ensures hungry New Yorkers have access to healthy food while encouraging farmers to harvest crops that otherwise might go to waste.’

This legislation gives power to our Veterans Tiny Home project.

WHAT WAS LEFT OUT

Ethics reform and changes to election laws including easier voter registration and early voting didn’t make the cut. The extension of mayoral control of schools in New York City also isn’t in the budget; lawmakers expect to take up that issue later this year.

Making voter registration easier would mean more people may vote.  Why wouldn’t legislators want to increase the voter pool?

April 7,2017

Judge sets Oct. 30 as start date for corruption trial

Former Cuomo aide receives jeers outside courthouse

“Lawyers for Joe Percoco, the former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, had earlier this week asked the judge to set a trial date in January, citing what was described as a “staggering” amount of discovery material to sift through.

Percoco and seven others face charges, while lobbyist Todd Howe has already pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government. The indicted individuals also include former SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros as well as executives at Syracuse’s COR Development and Buffalo’s LP Ciminelli.

A criminal complaint brought by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office in September alleges that the defendants took part in an overlapping series of schemes that included bid-rigging, bribery and extortion. Percoco, Cuomo’s confidant and 2014 campaign manager, left the Executive Chamber in December 2015 as the probe was proceeding.”

Either the Governor knows about the elicit activities of his top aid and condones them or he does not know what is going on in his administration.  Either way Governor Cuomo is not the leader New York State requires to succeed.

This is another indictment of party politics when we, the people are given only political party choices to lead our government.

Register “No Party” and vote for the best of all leaders, not the lesser of all evils.

April 6, 2017

Alexander Commons holds opening

 “A new affordable housing development on Alexander Street celebrated its completion Wednesday.

The Alexander Commons across from Monroe High School features 60 one-bedroom apartments, with 30 units designated for people coping with mental health disorders and 30 units directed to households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income.

“The need for quality, affordable housing is a critical issue in our community. Studies show a correlation between the quality and stability of a person’s home and their sense of well-being, particularly for those in recovery from mental illness,” said Greg Soehner, East House’s president and CEO.”

What Rochester “needs” is home ownership and safe neighborhoods.  Affordable housing is necessary but does nothing to increase the tax base for Rochester.  The only way to bring Rochester out of its impoverished condition is to increase the pride and respect in neighborhood communities home ownership creates.

To construct this type of housing supplies an important need in any community.  To place this type of housing across the street from an educational facility is detrimental to the future outlook of the students attending that school.  We tend to nagate the importance of perception to our children and fail to provide positive role models and surroundings that create hope for a positive successful future.

April 4, 2016

Monroe County No. 2 for home ownership

“Monroe County ranks among the best places to own a home in New York, according to research from a financial technology company.

Monroe County ranks second in the state, following Allegany County, according to Smart Asset’s third annual study. The study compares average rent and home prices in counties across the United States.

According to the study, Monroe County posted an average monthly mortgage payment of $548, average monthly rent of $1,215 and average home price of $203,873. Its rent versus buy index was 89.5.”

The best way to increase the tax base in Rochester is to increase home ownership.  It is less expensive to own a home to rent an apartment; Why are we wasting valuable tax dollars by paying the rent for individuals on Social Services when we can save money, increase the home ownership tax base, and create successful, safe neighborhoods by paying their mortgage instead of  their rent?

March 28, 2017

Monroe County Democratic party tensions flare

Rochester Business Journal
March 27, 2017

“Long simmering divisions in the Monroe County Democratic party have flared up with City Council member Adam McFadden asking the party to “investigate the systematic disenfranchisement of black voters in the city.”

The letter from McFadden, emailed on Monday to county Democratic Committee Chairwoman Jamie Romeo, came days after Legislative District 25 leaders accused McFadden of making statements that are “bigoted, disrespectful and false” about the makeup of that committee.”

Clearly another reason to register as a “No Party” voter.

March 25, 2017

Democratic committees give mayoral endorsements

Rochester Business Journal
March 23, 2017

“Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren picked up her first Democratic committee endorsement Wednesday night from Legislative District 24 but is still behind challenger James Sheppard in assembling the votes needed to get the party’s backing.”

City proposes quadrupling fines for littering

Rochester Business Journal
March 24, 2017

“The Rochester City Council is going after the litter bugs. City officials have proposed more than quadrupling fines for littering as part of a new effort to clean up city streets.

A first offense would be fined at $100 instead of $25, and a second offense would jump from $35 to $200. Businesses that violate the law would see fines jump from a $100 for a first offense (plus the cost of cleanup and disposal) to $1,000, with a second offense fined at $2,500 plus cleanup and disposal costs.

The current littering laws are not being enforced, why are the fines being increased?”

This is simply another measure police can use to intimidate certain citizens. A better plan would be to have individuals sentenced to community service clean our streets.

March 24, 2017

Today Metro Justice planned protest at the office of Senator Joe Robach had motorists honking their horns in support of a better education budget for New York State.  Education advocates gathered on Ridge Road with signs in hand informing the public of the unfair and inequitable education budget.  Best sign of the day, “Invest in weapons of Mass Instruction”.

March 23, 2017

I leave NY: Upstate hit hard as more migrate out

The upstate counties that gained population since 2010 include Monroe, up an estimated 3,300 people . . .

Americans’ Shift To The Suburbs Sped Up Last Year

“Population growth in big cities slowed for the fifth-straight year in 2016 . . .

The fastest growth was in those lower-density suburbs. Those counties grew by 1.3 percent in 2016, the fastest rate since 2008, when the housing bust put an end to rapid homebuilding in these areas.

Those figures run counter to the “urban revival” narrative that has been widely discussed in recent years. That revival is real, but it has mostly been for rich, educated people in particular hyperurban neighborhoods rather than a broad-based return to city living. To be sure, college-educated millennials — at least those without school-age kids — took to the city, and better-paying jobs have shifted there, too. But other groups — older adults, families with kids in school, and people of all ages with lower incomes — either can’t afford or don’t want an urban address.

SLOWEST GROWING METROS –

Rochester, NY -0.2

. . . even with increasing wealth of many big cities, U.S. population growth is settling back into familiar habits rather than finding a new path. . . ”

Urban flight and regentrification do little to help Rochester’s citizens move out of poverty.  We must fight to keep our city “ours” through our home ownership and entrepreneurship.

March 22, 2017

COMIDA OKs $3.6M townhome project in East End
“A Home Leasing subsidiary received tax breaks Tuesday on a $3.6 million project to build more townhomes next to the Inner Loop redevelopment project.”

Townhouses and taxbreaks only benefit the wealthy.  Rochester residents deserve the opportunity to own their own homes, increasing the city’s tax base and releasing us from the “Big Five” control of New York State.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s