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Transition team gives Bello his charge


Monroe County Executive Adam Bello’s transition team has identified 29 items for him to focus on during his first term.

In a report released Tuesday, the team made recommendations that generally built on themes and proposals Bello emphasized during his campaign.

For example, the transition team recommended appointing a chief diversity officer, establishing a Climate Action Board to develop a county sustainability plan, working to retain college students, and reviving the Council of Governments to explore sharing of municipal services.
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello heard recommendations from his transition team during an event Tuesday, February 11. - PHOTO BY JEREMY MOULE
  • Monroe County Executive Adam Bello heard recommendations from his transition team during an event Tuesday, February 11.

One of Bello’s earliest campaign proposals was the creation of a county comprehensive plan, which he said would guide county decision-making. The transition team in its report wrote that the plan should “establish a vision, goals and strategies to guide future development and investment.”

“If we don’t have a roadmap in place we’re just wandering around,” Bello told reporters after presenting the report.

The report also recommended that the Bello administration find ways to increase cooperation and collaboration between county agencies and departments — another Bello campaign theme.

It also stressed that the county should be an active participant in major community-driven efforts, especially an ongoing push to integrate health, education, and human services organizations.

“We need to break down the silos, including one that kept county government on the sidelines of these critical efforts,” said one of the team’s co-chairs, Fran Weisberg, whose career as a nonprofit executive included leadership roles at United Way of Greater Rochester, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, and Lifespan.

Bello put together the transition team within 10 days of his November 5 election victory. It was co-chaired by Weisberg, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce CEO Bob Duffy, and Action for a Better Community President and CEO Jerome Underwood. The team had over 100 members from business, labor, nonprofits, and the community at-large, including Norm Silverstein, the president and chief executive officer at WXXI Public Media, the parent company of CITY.

Bello said that he wanted the members to create a “community-driven” document.

During Monday’s presentation, Underwood said that Bello and his administration have an opportunity to make county government work for all people.

“You’re going to need help,” Underwood said. “Nobody can do this kind of work individually.”

Other recommendations from the report included:
  • Establishing a Workforce Educators Coordinating Council to help address the middle-skills job gap by better coordinating workforce development programs;
  • Retaining and recruiting new Child Protective Services caseworkers to help reduce caseloads;
  • Creating a Monroe County Land Bank, similar to the city’s, to help address zombie properties;
  • Designating a point person to focus on issues related to the opioid crisis;
  • Providing more support and funding for children’s services such as pre-school special education and early intervention programs;
  • Creating a county-wide transportation plan and incorporating pedestrian-friendly components into county Department of Transportation projects.

Jeremy Moule is CITY’s news editor. He can be reached at