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Advice for Bello
I read CITY's assessment of Adam Bello's election as county executive with some puzzlement ("He won. What does Adam Bello do now?" November 13). The tone was one of sub rosa dismissiveness and a cynic's pessimism. One cannot avoid the dread of what is to come when new to an office. Who could? But he is a smart man with a good cadre of aides, and will do well cleaning up years of mismanagement.
However, I want to offer suggestions for the new county executive that will help cement his promise of governance as "a force for good, a convener of ideas, and a catalyst for unity."
The suggestion is simple: Be careful of distracting naysayers and combat them effectively through digital media. His office needs to maintain ongoing and aggressive voter expansion efforts to counteract years of voter suppression. He must frequently get out a clear reformist message that has strong achievable elements and bold progressive proposals. Yet, there must be a punitive aspect to the message. Scofflaws and tax cheats must be reined in. All who manipulate electoral processes through gerrymandering and biased legislation favoring regressive policies must be held accountable. And last, but no less importantly, attention must be paid to social media's potential to spread false and misleading information.
We must make better use of social media and its unifying communicative power as a means of assessing voter sentiments on policy, bolstering voter registration, and fostering the reformist message Bello carries.
G.L. CHARPIED, PITTSFORD
Police Accountability Board is a mistake
I believe that the Police Accountability Board will be proven to be a mistake because it will cause the Rochester Police Department to be overly cautious in their duty to protect lives and property.
We as a society go through periods of time when there is excessive leniency called for by the public. If history is any guide, the leniency will be followed by the required crackdown at the behest of the citizenry.
Let us turn to the issue of bail reform. This, too, over time will be proven to be a big mistake.
According to the Monroe County Sheriff's inmate release report for last Wednesday, 32 people were released on some pretty serious crimes, including violating parole. This is yet another example of "radical chic" and "limousine liberalism" that will compromise public safety in the communities to which these criminals are released.
It will have a very bad impact among hardworking people who strive to support their families and to keep safe from criminal behavior in the first place.
DAVID HENNELLY, ROCHESTER
Embrace electric vehicles for our planet and your pocketbook
I want to commend CITY for an excellent article on Fairport's electric vehicle initiative ("State taps Fairport for direction on electric vehicles," October 30). The topic raises a critically important issue for us all.
The wider context of the import of electric vehicle use is the fact that, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation sector accounts for the largest share of the nation's total greenhouse gas emissions at roughly 30 percent.
As a driver of electric vehicles, and as someone deeply concerned about the climate emergency and practical solutions, I want to encourage their large scale use. Here's why: It saves on gas and shrinks your carbon footprint.
The per-mile cost of operating an electric vehicle is less than half as much as that of a fossil fuel-based car, according to the Department of Energy.
When it comes to reducing emissions, the following data speaks for itself. The typical passenger car emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to the EPA, and each gallon of gas emits 20 pounds of carbon dioxide directly out of the car's tailpipe, according to the Department of Energy.
We know of the need to reduce emissions. We can do that on a day-to-day basis by using electric vehicles.
TIM McGOWAN, ROCHESTER
Two-party system breeds dysfunction
I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but there is a good reason why we don't have viable third (and fourth, etc.) parties in New York and most everywhere else in the country ("Breaking free from the Independence Party," November 13). The two major parties are implacably opposed to anything that could actually change the way things are done in Albany.
From gerrymandered districts to unfair ballot rules, the entire system is designed to keep challengers and independents off the ballot. It was only a few years ago that a candidate's petition could be rejected because it was submitted in a yellow folder instead of the required "canary," or because the papers were held together with a staple instead of a paper clip.
Because it has equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, the state Board of Elections is described as non-partisan. What that means in practice is that it is guaranteed to deadlock on any important partisan issue. One of the members of the governor's current commission charged with recommending changes is suggesting that the signature threshold for appearing on the ballot should be raised from 50,000 to 250,000.
We need ranked choice voting. We need sensible campaign finance laws. Until voters demand those changes, we'll be stuck with a system that's designed to filter out any principled individual who might want to end our state's dysfunction, regardless of party.
REGINALD NEALE, FARMINGTON
Say it ain't so, Cheryl
Dear County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo,
Your husband was my soccer coach when I was a kid. He taught me life lessons I carry with me today. You were a constant presence, too. You encouraged us to work together and to be good sportsmen. You told us that a loss was just room to improve and to keep on going. You taught us that, even if the opportunity presented itself, cheap shots were never the answer. You taught us to cherish our integrity.
As I read about the CABLE Act, I wondered if you had forgotten your own words. I'm sure you were hurt or angry about the election results, but you needed to accept defeat and reflect. That's how loss goes. Instead, you supported your fellow Republicans pushing the bill. You gave up your integrity by acting out of spite. Maybe you don't think that's what has happened. But that's what I saw.
This was a yellow card. It doesn't have to be a red. In your last weeks in office, seek to leave a positive legacy that goes beyond party politics. Take a knee. It's time.
IAN SCHEIL, GREECE
Tommy Tutone's "Jenny" strikes again
Thank you for your recent article on pay phones in the Rochester area ("Chronicling Rochester's life lines," October 30). Perhaps a directory could be published in the future! It is getting difficult to find pay phones these days.
Also, I've seemed to notice fewer mail drop boxes. Are they disappearing?
The juxtaposition of new and old technology is very prevalent in this city. Remember the monorail? I think it drove off into the future!
JENNY, ROCHESTER 867-5309
CITY: We do not typically publish the phone numbers of letter writers or letters from readers who do not include their last name with their submission. But after our editor actually tried to call "Jenny" at the number provided to verify her last name, we so enjoyed his getting punked that we made an exception.