PHOTO BY MARK CHAMBERLIN
Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed Irondequoit Supervisor Adam Bello, a Democrat, to serve as Monroe County clerk. (See reaction from local Republicans below)
Cuomo made the appointment this morning, says Jamie Romeo, chair of the Monroe County Democratic Committee. The vacancy was created when Republican Cheryl Dinolfo, who had been county clerk since April 2004, took over as the county executive in January. Bello was first mentioned as a candidate for the temporary job right around the time that Dinolfo was sworn in.
Bello will start the job next week. To remain as clerk past the end of the year, he'll have to win the seat in the November elections. And be does plan to run, he said during a press conference this afternoon.
Bello says that, as clerk, he plans to tackle zombie properties, which are vacant buildings neglected by their owners. Last year, Irondequoit passed a law establishing a registry for zombie properties and laying out penalties for owners who don't maintain vacant structures.
Bello plans to establish a zombie property task force as clerk to examine the issues and present recommendations to local, county, and state governments.
"The issue, I've realized, is much bigger than the Town of Irondequoit," Bello said this afternoon.
Bello is giving up the town supervisor seat to become county clerk. The Irondequoit Town Board will appoint an acting supervisor, who will have to run for election in November.
This post has been updated.
STATEMENT FROM MONROE COUNTY REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN BILL REILICH:
Rochester, NY – “The Town of Irondequoit is a beautiful place filled with good people, but it comes as no surprise that Adam Bello is abandoning them all so soon. Bello burdened Irondequoit residents with the highest property tax rate in Monroe County, his solution to Medley Centre was nothing more than a band-aid - a sale to another developer while the taxpayers are still holding their breath for restitution. Additionally, financial woes are already apparent as I-Square is failing, and his greatest accomplishment to-date is cutting the ribbon on a library his predecessor built.
“Monroe County residents are once again on the losing end of Governor Cuomo’s political maneuvering; we deserve more than a career politician who couldn’t deliver for Irondequoit and certainly won’t deliver for Monroe County. We hope that Bello isn't trying to use this appointment as a stepping stone for County Executive. We need someone who is actually interested in serving as Monroe County Clerk.”