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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News Blog

Re: “McFadden to leave Housing Authority

"And...there it is."
Ms. Fien is correct that McFadden's brief tenure was marred by the cronyism and controversy that has been amply exhibited by the Warren administration.
In those instances, the administration brazened it out. They involved local issues not subject to a superior governing body, and the citizens of Rochester has no real way to redress their grievances against the mayor of her administration, except to grumble out loud.
They all blew over.
In this case, the federal government saw something was rotten in the state of Rochester, and demanded McFadden's termination more than a week ago, claiming that his contract was null and void.
McFadden's "resignation" was an arrogant action, as though the decision remained with him.
It didn't. It remained with a branch of the federal government. The fact that he, the mayor and Mr. Gantt don't cut much ice beyond the borders of Rochester are explicitly clear by HUD's action in this matter.
As for "two sets of rules for different people," well, that was what he was counting on in the first place. The federal government called his bluff and paid no further lip service to political correctness in his case.
Hence his wrath.

Steve Bathory
Rochester, New York

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Istvan Bathory on 12/17/2014 at 3:23 PM

Re: “HUD to RHA: McFadden must go

I totally agree with Rachel's last post. I've read many of her Facebook posts, and there is absolutely no way anything can be even remotely construed as "promoting racism".

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rochester Musician on 12/17/2014 at 11:41 AM

Re: “HUD to RHA: McFadden must go

This is something I have not experienced in 16 years of reporting: Being called a racist because of racist comments some people post on my Facebook and Twitter pages. News organizations across the country, including this one, are struggling with online decorum.

I believe I'm being singled out because I have a lot of followers. That means I have a louder voice. I often challenge the establishment and that makes some people uncomfortable. But much of my reporting isn't substantially different from what every other reporter is reporting.

This notion that because I have a lot of followers, everything I do is a calculated effort to get more followers, is ridiculous. I have a following because I'm not afraid to challenge power, I do good work and I provide relevant and timely information throughout the day. I'm also not afraid to engage and be a human being.

I will end this post the way I ended the last one: you cannot find anything I've tweeted, Facebooked or reported that is designed to promote hatred in our community. I think you'll find much that does the opposite.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rachel Barnhart on 12/17/2014 at 11:36 AM

Re: “RHA: This can't be the way it was supposed to go

there have been a number of ethical issues since Warren became mayor. Every time I see her on the news I can't help but think of a teenage girl playing at government. She seems to be in way over her head. I wouldn't be totally surprised if they get her on some kind of ethics charge at some point.

8 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by William Sturgis on 12/17/2014 at 11:02 AM

Re: “HUD to RHA: McFadden must go

That's enough, folks. This stream has deteriorated into personal insults. You all know better. That's not the purpose of our comments section.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mary Anna Towler on 12/17/2014 at 6:47 AM

Re: “HUD to RHA: McFadden must go

Rachel Barnhart: It is your Facebook page with your name on it. Take responsibility for it and be a responsible citizen. You are not just the messenger, you are the host. Stop hiding behind some very narrow ethical view that you can use to justify promoting racism in our community.

4 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Larry Champoux on 12/16/2014 at 8:52 PM

Re: “RHA: This can't be the way it was supposed to go

It seems people don't know that the RHA is a private company. So, there might be a conflict of interest or at least I would think a $140,000/yr job would be considered a 24/7 priority. Let Adam McFadden quit city council when and if he's offered the non-interim position. But, as Christine spells out, there are other problems. She accurately tells us the big picture.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mike Bruton on 12/16/2014 at 7:17 PM

Re: “RHA: This can't be the way it was supposed to go

I thought the first item on Adam's agenda was to provide transparency on the doings of the RHA. He seems to have lost sight of his agenda. Now it seems that he wants to challenge laws, mostly I presume for a legacy.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mike Allen on 12/16/2014 at 5:27 PM

Re: “HUD to RHA: McFadden must go

I think Larry has a point about Barnhart's reporting. On Twitter, she has no producer/editor drawing the line between news and commentary. Her formula is this: pick the most salacious bits of a story, tweet and re-tweet to whip up her 20K followers, including some of the most racist in town; Blog to keep the story going and then go on tv to report on the outrage that she ginned up. When someone objects, paint herself as the martyr and patron saint of journalists and squeeze another day out of the story, adding Twitter followers every step of the way.

It makes for a good social media strategy, but it doesn't make for good public debate of the issues. Media should also be accountable.

9 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by GeorgeOconnor on 12/16/2014 at 8:28 AM

Re: “RHA: This can't be the way it was supposed to go

Sorry, I'm not buying this. A lot of us might have some good ideas about housing, that doesn't make us qualified candidates to run a housing authority. And who says that we need an activist housing authority? Isn't it the job of the housing advocates to lobby the authority for change? Adam's confused about his role.

And this is more than "political stink", it's about good government. Firing someone without due process matters, not only the principle of it, but because RHA's failing to play by the rules means taxpayers will pay dearly. I'm particularly troubled by how much Moses is spending to retroactively justify the firing, especially after HUD declined to investigate back in May. Three law firms and a forensic audit--those are big ticket items. The public should be very concerned at even the appearance of a government agency using its pocketbook to cover up its lack of due diligence and lies. Harris Beach should be ashamed of their lawyering here, which could be best summed up as the "petulant teenager legal strategy". Should taxpayers really be expected to pay for these lousy decisions to defy HUD?

Sure, Warren has every right to stack the board the board with her people, but she still has to play by the rules. And she needs to be accountable for her bad decisions, like appointing Moses who has a long history of these kind of problems. (Remember the board fiasco at the Science Charter?) During the campaign, I really came to appreciate the urgency that she brought to the discussions of education, economic dev and public safety. But in office, she is showing herself to be impulsive and without integrity. It's unfortunate that the Rochester press corps keeps giving her a free pass on her lies, little and big.

22 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by GeorgeOconnor on 12/16/2014 at 8:06 AM

Re: “HUD to RHA: McFadden must go

I'm not convinced that there is a conflict of interest. RHA Director and City Councilman both involve serving Rochester's citizens. I can't think of an example where one organization would benefit at the expense of the other. These positions are complementary.

In addition, I didn't think that people needed to compete for an interim position. Isn't the idea to get someone quickly?

We need more accountants in leadership positions. It's important not to waste money.

1 like, 15 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 12/14/2014 at 3:54 PM

Re: “HUD to RHA: McFadden must go


I take great exception to the accusation I promote racist commentary on my Facebook page. No other journalist in Rochester has posted more about inequality in Rochester. (Speaking of RHA, check out the Section 8 story I did recently about landlords refusing to accept vouchers from poor people.)

I cannot control how people react to my work. Most of the discussions on my page contain very intelligent viewpoints.

While it is true there are critics of Warren and McFadden who are racist, and these people pounce on every misstep, the stories we have done on these two individuals have been fair and accurate. I fear you are slaying the messenger, and blaming journalists for posting stories that prompt harsh and even unfair criticism. But the stories needed to be done. As you point out, they haven't been very successful in not providing critics any fodder.

Please check out my Facebook: I encourage others who read Larry's comments to judge for yourself if I engage in promoting hatred in our community.

25 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Rachel Barnhart on 12/14/2014 at 9:07 AM

Re: “HUD to RHA: McFadden must go

Disagree with your first point, as far as calling Rachel B. "Lady Lonsberry". If you've listened to or read both of them, you would know that they are quite different politically. Bob is certainly far right and quite conservative (and I'm sure he'd agree with that analysis), while Rachel I would put as somewhat but not too much left of center. What they do hold in common is that they both genuinely love the city of Rochester and its neighborhoods (yes, Bob really does) and want what's best for the city. Beyond that, there are extremely few similarities between them.

15 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rochester Musician on 12/13/2014 at 10:13 AM

Re: “HUD to RHA: McFadden must go

And thirdly, because this is important, I realize how challenging these discussions are: In the last line of my post above I use the word "stymie." After it was too late to edit this post, I realized that some may think this refers to the beloved character Stymie from the Little Rascals/Our Gang series, and consider it be offensive. If anyone is indeed offended by that, I do heartily apologize and I share your frustration. Though after doing some online research, I have found that some critics consider the character of Stymie to be groundbreaking, as he appeared as an equal child among many. And the role was indeed groundbreaking for African-American professional actors. Geez, I am often stymied about how to break these terrible communications barriers that restrict our efforts to simply reach out to each other as human beings, in our pain and confusion so that we can do our best to help all of our children--the entire gang--to learn how to play well together.

4 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Larry Champoux on 12/13/2014 at 8:42 AM

Re: “HUD to RHA: McFadden must go

These are not mutually exclusive statements:

1. Lovely Warren and Adam McFadden have faced an onslaught of clearly unfair, racist, and hateful commentary on online forums such as Facebook as well as in more traditional media. Some journalists like Rachel Barnhart (Lady Lonsberry) have promoted this, as in her Facebook page, which has become a rallying point for racist haters. This hatred and racism is damaging to our community. Complaints that are mostly allowable for white politicians (arrogance, cronyism, poor communications) are judged more harshly for Warren. These racists care little about the community and more about destroying Warren.

2. Warren has had an abysmal and divisive first year in office that has been made worse by her abrasive personal style. She has damaged our community and has alienated White and Latino allies in the community instead of finding ways to work with them to help our vulnerable families and children. Her arrogance and inexperience is made worse by her refusal to listen to contrary views. She often appears to be obviously less than honest with the citizens of Rochester. The African-American political leadership is stymied about how to proceed.

6 likes, 19 dislikes
Posted by Larry Champoux on 12/13/2014 at 8:07 AM

Re: “Pittsford board votes down Westport Crossing designs

Historic villages have a architectural legacy to honor. Without a watchful eye by friends and residents all of that legacy will be replaced by box stores.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by John Jongen on 12/11/2014 at 4:39 PM

Re: “UR envisions smaller, more robust East High

The proposal will be approved and get everything it wants but there be obstacles because the proposal calls for millions in additional resources and funding. Other schools and programs are going to be cut. Additionally, the unions may appear to like all of this but the charter school-like autonomy has to frighten them. I can’t see the Superintendent and his staff embracing it either. It is too expensive and self-contained. Regardless, this will move forward. The university has incredible political clout. The proposal partners include organizations whose leaders and Board of Directors are part of a web of influence that runs from City Hall all the way to Albany. They all know this will be a grant pot of gold.

Unfortunately, this essentially replaces one bureaucracy with another. It may be a new kitchen but there are still too many cooks. An essential question is why many of the proposed outcomes are so low. In some cases these must be raised, especially given the amount of money being spent. After four years, anticipated passing rates for grades 7 and 8 in ELA and math are around 20%. Really? Only one of five students will be passing after all of this? That has to be questioned. In the end expect Commissioner King to give the Board President White and the U of R a Christmas gift. He is leaving so the timing is perfect.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gotta Say It on 12/11/2014 at 10:09 AM

Re: “LDC scandal may have a small silver lining

Agreed. Also, the county took over the duties from a subcontractor after four key players in the LDC's were hit with criminal charges, as the article said. Had this been done when the LDC's were set up originally, they wouldn't have been able to be originally set up in the first place. Someone should analyze the legality of this setup.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by MyBelief on 12/08/2014 at 8:39 AM

Re: “LDC scandal may have a small silver lining

This whole mess is complicated AND very expensive. So, the county overpaid by $140,000 and now wants the money back. It's a bit of a stretch to reframe this as a savings for taxpayers. The overpayment was a HECK of a lot more. If there is nothing to hide, then why not provide Carrie Andrews with ALL the details?

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Mike Bruton on 12/05/2014 at 5:57 PM

Re: “Teachout takes on the Hedge Funders over education

New York State United Teachers - the state teacher's union - has been shelling out millions of dollars every year to lobby lawmakers. In fact, it's news when NYSUT is NOT the biggest spending lobbyist as City Newspaper itself covered in October when the "No More Casinos Coalition" actually edged out NYSUT. To hear Teachout complaining about a bunch of hedge fund managers playing the same game that NYSUT has mastered is pathetic. If these hedge funders want to spend big money to influence lawmakers, join the crowd. Maybe they can hire a few ex-NYSUT veterans to show them how it is done.

10 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Animule on 12/05/2014 at 7:59 AM

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