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Feedback 9/6

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Readers respond to our mayoral endorsements

I would like to express my disappointment that Tom Hasman, a highly qualified candidate, was omitted from your list of endorsements for City Council.

You noted that Tom Hasman is very active in the ABC Streets Neighborhood Association but he isn't as strong as the other candidates. I served on the board during Tom's four years as ABC president, and I can tell you firsthand what a strong leader he is.

During his term, we expanded our membership and held more social events, which brought our neighborhood closer together and ultimately helped with combating crime, as neighbors coordinated crime prevention activities and were prone to report suspicious activity.

Tom also led the effort to bring the Police and Citizens Together Against Crime (PAC-TAC) program back to our neighborhood. In addition, he led the effort to overhaul our pocket park (which was a joint partnership with the city) and successfully wrote a grant application to procure the "Welcome to ABC Streets" sign, which has been well received by many who enter our neighborhood.

I understand that this was a tough year, as there are many qualified candidates (especially a vast pool of first-time candidates, Tom among them) to choose from. I've always applauded CITY for being progressive and thinking "outside of the box." Why limit yourself to five candidates if you have more than five who are qualified to serve? Perhaps endorse all that are qualified and outline the different talents and visions each have for the city and let your readers determine who best fits their visions for our city.

For this election, I would encourage voters to consider Tom Hasman. Based on his work in ABC Streets, I am confident that he would make an outstanding Councilman.

DAVE BURNET

I was very disappointed to learn that City newspaper made the decision to endorse Mayor Lovely Warren. There are ample concerns about the Mayor's ethics and integrity, the most recent evidence being her abrupt change in the decision about Parcel 5 to reward a supporter with a very questionable deal.

There are also many questions about her campaign financing, both this year and in the past, including issues involving the late Bill Nojay that warrant further investigation.

James Sheppard, on the other hand, is a public servant with a record of competence and integrity. Mr. Sheppard is far more worthy of the endorsement of CITY newspaper than is Mayor Warren

SARAH PARTNER

Rochester has become a shooting gallery. Its biggest problem is street violence. Common sense says it's time to put a cop in charge. Vote Sheppard!

MARTY DENNIS

Being a lifelong resident, I've seen mayors come and go. At this time, in a region this challenged, we cannot afford more of the same. We need transformational change in the city, not the usual dithering and politics. The independence and transformative policies of Rachel Barnhart are the right direction for the city.

We are spending money on the wrong things while we argue about who should pay for what. That leaves vital services unfulfilled. We advocate for traditional building projects with the hope that if they build it, we will come. The city is not getting better. It won't until we give people a reason to live and work there.

A citywide fiber optic network with free service for the economically disadvantaged opens up access to home learning and telecommuting and can break the cycle of poverty much faster than throwing more money at the city school system.

A top-down review of political patronage and the money flushed to support it will cut out the dead wood and bring in new ideas and steer clear of the usual political nonsense.

I trust Rachel Barnhart, who has seen it all as a reporter and has never wilted in the face of a challenge. Let's try something different. We cannot afford not to!

PHILLIP DAMPIER

Although I am no longer a resident of the City of Rochester (I currently live in Henrietta), I fully trust that the city would be in good hands with Rachel Barnhart as mayor.

Rachel's 18 years in broadcasting should not be downplayed. She went well beyond reporting important stories. She always felt it was important to find the story behind the story, and she sought out causes, effects, and solutions. This was done with a high level of persistence and accuracy.

During public forums, Rachel has demonstrated that she has concrete proposals to tackle the challenges faced by the City of Rochester. I don't believe a candidate should be judged solely on whether or not he or she has prior management experience. Public service should always be based on trust, and I trust Rachel's ability to serve as Rochester's mayor without any reservations.

I am proud to be a supporter of Rachel Barnhart. While she didn't get CITY Newspaper's endorsement, she has mine.

RAYMOND GROSWIRTH

I was hoping for better from CITY. We have problems, and Ms. Warren has offered few or no solutions.

SARAH FRELIGH

Amplification

Several readers have challenged our statement that City Council candidate Mitch Gruber is not "affiliated" with either of the warring factions in the local Democratic party. As those readers noted, Mayor Lovely Warren's PAC has donated to Gruber's campaign, and Warren campaign material includes Gruber in the list of recommended Council candidates.

Similarly, the other candidate we cited as unaffiliated with either faction, Mary Lupien, has received a campaign donation from City Council member Elaine Spaull, a frequent Warren critic. In our discussions with Council candidates, we found both Lupien and Gruber to be independent and thoughtful, not at all reluctant to criticize positions taken by the two factions on Council. That ability will be important in the next four years.


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