Recently, RochesterSubway.com asked Facebook fans who they were voting for in the upcoming race for Mayor. The results are in. Statistically speaking, no one should read too much into this crudely constructed poll. But it did attract some rather interesting results.
If this race were decided on Facebook likes, Tom Richards (Independent) wins hands down with 23. Alex White (Green) finished with 7. And Lovely Warren (Democrat) pulled in 2 (and one person voted for all three candidates). Richards also had the edge with the shear number of comments left.
If anything can be taken away from this, it’s that Lovely Warren supporters were missing in action. Not one positive comment was left for Warren. Either they don’t read RochesterSubway.com, or they are busy on the campaign trail. We’ll know for sure tomorrow night.
DO NOT miss your chance to voice your choice at the real polls tomorrow. In the meantime, check out the comments…
For Tom Richards, Anonymous #1:
In a nutshell… “fools to the left of me, jokers to my right…”
Seriously, this is an election that has left me very conflicted. I love the idea of a young Mayor, and the historic significance of the hometown of Susan B. Anthony electing its first female mayor. But I’m extremely concerned about Ms. Warren’s connections to Mr. Gantt. I don’t like his angry personality, his combativeness, and what I consider his lack of professionalism and cordiality. I’m concerned her close association with him (after all, she chose to work for him, and remain in his employment) so that tells me she agrees with his way of conducting himself.
I’m not happy with Ms. Warren’s refusal to debate Mr. White and, more crucially, her inability to clearly and honestly answer why she wasn’t going to debate him. I’ve heard worrisome rumors about the people that Ms. Warren would appoint to leadership roles within City Hall. Rochester has an admirable reputation of a professionally managed city; her leadership team needs to continue that legacy. Some of the names that have surfaced thus far do not give me confidence. Finally, I’m concerned that Ms. Warren would view all issues through the lens of race. My fear is that any project that she perceives to benefit the African-American community would get her support, whether or not the project was good for the city. A hypothetical example: Tops announces it will open up another supermarket in the Northeast quadrant, but wants to demolish a historic building and an entire city block of houses for a large suburban-style parking lot. Would city staff be able to do their jobs applying the zoning code without political interference? Or I should say, without MORE political interference than already exists? For all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Wegmans, the administration mostly (mostly) stayed out of it. Would Ms. Warren do the same?
I’m a member of the Green Party and I support almost their entire party platform. But I find Mr. White to be a very poor messenger for the party’s progressive message. I’m not happy that our society values appearances, but it does. And they matter. We are not all models and actors, and one doesn’t need expensive wardrobes and makeup artists, but a well tailored shirt and sportcoat, stylish glasses, and a decent haircut would go a long way to increasing Mr. White’s effectiveness at communicating and having people take him seriously. He raises many excellent points, but he or his advisors also do not seem to choose their battles very well. For example, the Midtown Tower deal with Buckingham. We should have a debate about subsidies for well-connected developers and the depth of the private real estate market to complete deals. But his focus on whether it was legal for the city to sell that property for $2 when NYS Urban Renewal law clearly settles the matter distracted people from the real issue.
I’m also not happy with Mr. White’s longstanding criticism of city laws and codes without acknowledging the rationale behind them. Yes, operating an entertainment venue requires multiple permits and inspections and I know that’s frustrating. The code may need to be changed. But A: it’s there to ensure the safety of the theater-going and music-venue-attending public and B: neighborhood leaders often rise up whenever code changes are proposed because they like things they way they are. He often denigrates city staff who are trying to do their job and enforce the code that was adopted by City Council and/or the State of New York.
The Green Party needs to find a new messenger: younger, more positive, less angry, more telegenic, and a better public speaker. More pro walking, pro bike, pro transit, more anti-car. I’ve always found it hard to square Mr. White’s advocacy, as a business person, for more parking, with his role as a leader of the GREEN party.
So I’m left with Mr. Richards. I worry about his relatively conservative background (Navy, corporate America), and his lack of creativity, which I think stems from both his age and his background. I’m not thrilled that he’s just one of the gang of old white guys that tend to run things in Rochester (Danny Wegman, Joel Seligman, Dutch Summers, etc.). But I believe he has grown a great deal during his time in City Hall and I have deep and abiding respect for his professionalism and managerial competence in running a complex organization with ongoing fiscal problems- the city. I believe he has chosen, for the most part, intelligent and astute staff members. His vision is competence and incremental progress. I agree with this pragmatic approach as opposed to the demagogic and “pie-in-the-sky” proposals that other candidates have put forth. He is not a politician and in my book, that’s one of the highest compliments I can offer.
For Tom Richards, Anonymous #2:
I’m voting for Mayor Richards. I believe that he has put the City on the right path to revitalization, particularly as seen by the burgeoning private investment downtown and the streamlining of governance at City Hall. I feel that we need to keep the ball rolling in order to maintain confidence in real estate investors and other stakeholders so that we can continue to make progress. I worry that the emphasis on the neighborhoods that Lovely campaigned on will cause developers to get cold feet about downtown investments and the City’s hard work will begin to falter. I also worry that Lovely will replace staff that have done such an incredible job over the last several years, particularly in Neighborhood and Business Development, with less qualified appointees.
That is not to say that we should ignore the neighborhoods. We owe it to our citizens to help them, but their acute socioeconomic problems may take a generation to solve. I feel that we need to continue the slow but steady progress the City has been making through programs such as FIS, Home Rochester, economic development and others that have been making a measurable and positive impact.
I don’t think we can solve the issues of poverty and inequality until we have a strong downtown and local economy. We need to invest in our strengths and eventually our success will grow to encompass the those less fortunate through jobs, increased tax base, and improved schools.
Here’s hoping for a Richards win.
What Others Said About Tom Richards:
Danielle McKnight Nolan “Because I need Lovely to know that I’m *not* with her.”
John Bernunzio “Show your independence from party politics…vote for Tom Richards, a seasoned leader.”
Rich Ignizio “Best Mayor in years! He is on the Independence line. Everyone that is eligible should vote this time!”
Stephen Adams “Time for him to take his status quo maintaining ass home.”
Jeremy Ethan “Has done a great job all around, midtown development has made that area of the city gorgeous.”
Kathy Korol “Absolutely voting for Tom!”
Philip Weintraub “I would if I lived in the city.”
Bart Robello “Name one good thing Richards has done for the city. *crickets*”
Nanci A. Steeb “He has my vote!!”
For Alex White, Anonymous #1:
This year I will be voting for Alex White for Mayor.
Alex has shown he is dedicated to Rochester as an urban place. The solutions he brings to the table aren’t to sub-urbanize Rochester, but instead to build it up as a modern city.
Alex has built a successful business on Monroe Ave, one of the city’s most walkable neighborhoods. He knows better than anybody how a walkable neighborhood serviced by mass transit helps local businesses.
While marching in this years Pride Parade, Alex spoke of using Park Ave (the parade route) as a model for all urban neighborhoods. He noted what made Park Ave walkable, such as its abundant tree canopy and street fronted businesses that closed off the street and give Park Ave its vibrancy.
Alex also supports creating local neighborhood based businesses as a way of growing Rochester’s economy. His programs would focus on building neighborhoods as places where people could live, work and raise a family.
I think Alex’s focus on Rochester as an urban place makes him the best candidate for Mayor, and I can’t wait vote for him and the rest of the Green Party candidates on Row F!
What Others Said About Alex White:
Dave Nuciola “Anybody is better than Warren or Richards.”
Jason Olshefsky “A smart candidate with a plan that will work? Sign me up.”
Mike McFadden “I plan to vote for Alex for the only legitimate reason anybody should vote for anyone: because he represents me more closely than the others. Me meaning my political stances and direction in which I think the city should go.”
Jeff Wight “I plan to vote for Alex for all the reasons Mike said above. Plus, having a viable third party in our country has to start somewhere.”
Joel Clavijo “Some green party liberal running the show, no thanks!”
Bart Robello “Anyone who isn’t part of our local power elite is a good choice.”
For Lovely Warren:
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Tags: Alex White, candidates for mayor, Democrats, election day, Green Party, Lovely Warren, politics, Rochester election, Rochester mayoral candidates, Rochester race for mayor, Thomas Richards, vote, vote for mayor
This entry was posted on Monday, November 4th, 2013 at 7:19 am and is filed under Interviews, Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.