It really did come to the final countdown — I promise that will be my only groan-worthy 80's pun. More than 14,000 people took our final Best of Rochester Readers Poll — our second-highest number of respondents behind 2013's record-setting turnout — and a few of the contests really came down to the wire.
A sincere thank you to everyone who voted in this year's Best of Rochester Poll. Each year that it grows, we find that the survey and its responses become more representative of Rochester's best qualities. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that we agree with all of the choices, and we expect that you won't either. Feel free to fly by rochestercitynewspaper.com and give us feedback on this year's poll. We take that input seriously when working on the next year's ballot.
A little bit about our process: City's annual Best of Rochester Poll is a readers poll, meaning that all of the finalists and winners are chosen by you, our readers. City Newspaper operates solely as a tabulator and gatekeeper. The primary ballot changes every year, constructed from editorial criteria and reader suggestions, and no one outside of City sees the ballot until it goes online. Survey-takers then submit the people, places, and things they think are the best in each category.
City employees then get together to go through and count the thousands of responses to pick out the top 4 — or more, if a tie occurs — vote-getters in each category. We only disqualify votes if they're for a national chain, don't fit the category, or if they are clearly the result of ballot stuffing. The top 4 are put on the final ballot, readers vote, and the winners are kept secret until the Best of Rochester issue publishes.
City tells our readers what we think 51 issues out of the year. Our Best of Rochester Poll lets us know what you think is the best of the city.
In addition to the readers' poll, this Best Of issue also contains a collection of our readers' funnier answers to the primary ballot, as well as our annual Critics' Picks. This year, Matt DeTurck, Christine Carrie Fien, Laura Rebecca Kenyon, Trevor Lewis, Adam Lubitow, Nicole Milano, Rebecca Rafferty, David Raymond, and Kate Stathis give their own opinions on some of the people, places, and things that really stand out in Rochester.
If you would like to sound off on our readers' poll, have a good idea for a category, or have any feedback at all, comment on this article at rochestercitynewspaper.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Twitter (@roccitynews) and Facebook (facebook.com/CityNewspaper). -- Jake Clapp
NOTE: Runners up listed in alphabetical order