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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: News Blog

Re: “Deputy Superintendent Anita Murphy leaving the city school district

The District has never seen the likes of someone like Dr. Murphy. She's a strong woman who has heart and passion for urban education. She has no time for politics and can smell bull%$* a mile away. Anita has common sense and wasn't afraid the say the truth. That adds up to INTEGRITY; something the RCSD doesn't know what to do with and clearly doesn't value. She had a great respect for teachers and treated them with respect (Yet another concept foreign to the district.)
Our loss as city tax payers as well. Good luck to you, Dr. Murphy. Vargas is now sunk!!

26 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by fedupwthitall on 01/19/2014 at 12:32 PM

Re: “Warren's lesson in crisis management

Response to Kenneth Warner's Blog about Mayor Warren Jan.16th, 2014 D&C Newspaper

Yes Kenneth.. it is time to stop challenging Mayor Warren's integrity, morals and her judgment. It is time to support her next four years as Mayor of our " Two Cities of Rochester. " And, I can help her and our "Two Cities" by suggesting the following actions be implemented:

1. Call the NYS Police Department and have a speeding ticket issued to her driver ( Uncle Reggie ).

2. Keep the current security detail in place and temporary for now... then make the positions open to all qualified candidates through Civil Service that want to apply to the City of Rochester Human Resources Dept. for the positions as of February 1st, 2014. The hiring decision is made by the Deputy Mayor if indeed the detail reports to the Deputy Mayor... as reported by our local media and the Democrat and Chronicle.

3. Mayor Warren should consider demoting Spencer Ash to his original position in City Govt', where ever that may have been, since he allegedly lied to her in the initial interview for New Development Director. My own opinion is that he should be replaced. Employers can and do terminate or demote newly hired employees , if after hiring a person, determine that the person lied in the initial interview.

4. Lovely can do what ever she feels is necessary as our newly elected mayor but I hope she is fair and balanced in her decisions on these issues being discussed. I am going to support her efforts in the future.

Craig Moffitt

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by crm135790 on 01/19/2014 at 11:30 AM

Re: “White charts new agenda for Rochester school board and district

Today in a local publication Vargas is quoted as saying:

"We do need an organization that can respond to the needs of families and the students"

then why cut STUDENT & FAMILY Support Centers ????

Mr. White please look into this

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by swk on 01/19/2014 at 9:58 AM

Re: “Warren's lesson in crisis management

"Basically that's saying that it's OK to lie if you think the truth won't eventually come out."

I'm not defending the behavior. I said it was a mistake and that Warren would, even from her current dug-in posture, still do best to come clean. I'm giving my opinion as to why it likely happened. I'm also pointing out that because Warren used careful wording, declined to answer questions rather than lying, and because she wasn't in the drivers seat to necessarily know exact speeds, she has enough wiggle room to ride it out. In fact she already has. There will be basically no more articles on the topic. There's nothing new to report.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Lincoln DeCoursey on 01/19/2014 at 12:49 AM

Re: “Warren's lesson in crisis management

"Yes it would have been simpler and better for Warren to have been forthcoming up front. If she had known the details would emerge, likely she would have done so. "

Basically that's saying that it's OK to lie if you think the truth won't eventually come out. Nice philosophy. Not really of course, especially for someone who should be at least somewhat of a role model for people in Rochester.

14 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rochester Musician on 01/18/2014 at 10:40 PM

Re: “Warren's lesson in crisis management

It's a normal human reaction to minimize. Yes it would have been simpler and better for Warren to have been forthcoming up front. If she had known the details would emerge, likely she would have done so. Obviously she thought the details would not come out. It was a gamble and a mistake on her part.

There was some deceptiveness. Mostly it was carefully-worded answers to poorly-formed questions. Warren is a lawyer. There were a couple of particularly questionable statements. But the Hill memo, while not accountability for Warren personally, will have to suffice. Yes it is Warren's prerogative to stop addressing the issue. She took questions on day 1. For the media to besiege city hall with rolling cameras on a daily basis because they didn't like the responses that they got, hadn't thought to ask the right questions, it's too much. It's not the Iran hostage crisis.

The media may feel that Warren's first two weeks went badly. She has for the most part defended her choices. Agree to disagree. Wait for the ethics investigation. The media's thought that it can keep this in the news perpetually until Warren gives you the answer you want, it's unrealistic. Even now she would still be best served by giving an apology, otherwise there will be a bad taste, but it's fully her choice.

5 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Lincoln DeCoursey on 01/18/2014 at 8:19 PM

Re: “[UPDATED] Warren gets credit for Costco deal

And so the County Democrats abandon their position that Maggie Brooks should not supervise an investigation of Maggie Brooks. Economic development aside, the Dems of the County Legislature have demonstrated themselves to be a paper tiger who allow politics to win out over principle. I'm disappointed that the promise to veto capital spending proposals proved to be an empty one.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by John Peckham on 01/18/2014 at 7:42 PM

Re: “ASAR proceeding with no-confidence vote against Vargas

How can there be trust and vision when members of his staff are actively and publicly seeking employment elsewhere - where is the committment to the students of Rochester?

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Lisa DiRenzo Englert on 01/18/2014 at 12:37 PM

Re: “[UPDATED] Warren gets credit for Costco deal

According to the Census data, the population is actually increasing, but slowly. Very slowly. Why not bring something here that will perhaps increase the population or at least get those to stay, especially if wages are averaging $21 per hour?

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by TD1016 on 01/18/2014 at 12:26 PM

Re: “Warren's lesson in crisis management

I think with everything that has and has not been said by Lovely and her uncle said about the speeding incidents, one fact remains. After being stopped for speeding once, Lovely and her driver did it again....why???

17 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Tom Janowski on 01/18/2014 at 9:11 AM

Re: “Warren's lesson in crisis management

The first 2 weeks of the new City Mayor’s actions raise a myriad of questions. An additional concern is the local news coverage neglect in asking the obvious follow up questions to the recent string of events.
When initially revealed that the new Mayor had hired 2 bodyguards, The Communications Director’s response was that the Security Chief would accompany former Mayor Richards when he traveled.

Is the Security Chief position still in existence and is it still filled? If so, why can’t the same service be provided? Why is there a need to spend $140,000 additional dollars for not 1, but 2 bodyguards? And just who is paying for the new Suburbans, and how much?

As the body guard news gained traction, it was reported that there had been threats to the new Mayor, but she had not reported them to the police. Aside from a lack of good judgment, this is an immediate vote of no confidence for the RPD from the new head of City services. If these are credible threats, they need to be investigated. Are 2 bodyguards the appropriate remedy? Are they enough? Are they too much?

The revelation of the speeding incident on the thruway adds more to the stew. The new Mayor’s 1st response was that they may have been going close to 80. The next day, it was in the 70’s. The NYS trooper reported in excess of 90 mph. If the bodyguard is charged with the safety and security of the new Mayor it is not apparent that this action displays regard for that duty or the safety of other drivers. When hurtling down the thruway at an excessive rate of speed propelling past every other vehicle, it has to be apparent that you are speeding. As the one who should be the role model for a law abiding citizen, not requiring that the driver slow down is her responsibility. When apprehended, only a warning was issued. The average bear would have immediately had their license yanked. Yes, they did get special treatment. As a leader, responses reminiscent of a teenager caught texting while driving are disheartening. Admit it, take responsibility, and make sure it never happens again.

The continuing deflections suggest a lack of understanding of the leadership role of the Mayor. The fact that a body guard is the Mayor’s uncle does raise nepotism questions. Indicating that the nepotism policy did not apply because the body guards work for the Deputy Mayor begs the question and is an insult to the intelligence of the citizens. As the Mayor, you are the person most responsible for upholding the policies of the City and the Deputy Mayor works for you.

In addition to the question of nepotism, is the double dipping concern. The hired uncle is receiving a pension from New York State and a double digit salary for his new bodyguard position. This is a practice that City Council, of which the Mayor is the recent past President, expressed significant concern and did not want to proliferate. So one of the 1st acts of the Mayor is to do that which was not condoned.

The ethics committee will look into the manner in which the bodyguards were hired and it may or may not pass muster according to Civil Service rules for the hiring of a temporary position, but the 1st issue of hiring multiple bodyguards needs to be scrutinized.

We all want the new Mayor to be successful; The City has such an impact on the entire region. The new Mayor does not bring any substantial administrative or managerial experience to a job shepherding a large and complex organization. If she surrounds herself with a capable leadership team and relies on their assistance, this administration can be a success if all her leadership qualities can be employed. Unfortunately, the demonstration of a comprehension of the leadership role in accepting responsibility, modeling the position as the City’s number 1 law abiding citizen, understanding and upholding policies and exercising good, mature judgment is demonstrably lacking in the first 2 weeks of this administration. The citizens deserve answers to some obvious questions. Please start asking.

18 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by A Concerned Citizen on 01/17/2014 at 11:13 PM

Re: “Deputy Superintendent Anita Murphy leaving the city school district

Everyone on the inside knows that she runs the district. She must be leaving because she either knows it is hopeless or she sees mayoral control coming. Either way, all this does is solidify the end for Vargas.

15 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Blow it up on 01/17/2014 at 8:23 PM

Re: “Warren's lesson in crisis management

It is not my experience for political swings, like the one in the mayor's office to come out of nowhere, the "renaissance" left behind thousands of children and increasing isolation of our regions poor, Often including skin color as a determining factor of where people live. Today the southern United States is better integrated by economics and race than the north. This disparity created the opportunity and pendulum swing for our new mayor.

0 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Stephen Karl on 01/17/2014 at 5:49 PM

Re: “Bike lane, trail projects receive state funding

Hallelujah! Now I won't be killed when biking on Elmwood between the river and Mt Hope! I will make it until at least South Avenue before my brains are splattered!

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Adrian Martin on 01/17/2014 at 4:34 PM

Re: “ASAR proceeding with no-confidence vote against Vargas

"Even though we have some great programs, we have far too many parents who are actively looking for alternatives to city schools." Amen, Amen, Amen! Dr. Vargas is 100% correct, the focus of the RCSD has to be on improving student achievement, effectively managing schools, involving parents and families, allocating resources efficiently, and communicating with staff and parents.
It's the "allocating of resources efficiently" that has ASAR so upset. Why, because Vargas plans to make some changes to the contract, which he inherited from the former superintendent that will result in less micro-management spending and more funds for the children of the RCSD. That makes a lot of sense since the RCSD needs to provide the community with quality public education not more charter schools.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Tommy on 01/17/2014 at 4:32 PM

Re: “New York gets a "D" in education policy from Michelle Rhee

@b.d.g., Rhee left DC a mess. The kids were worse off for her. Then there is still that huge cheating scandal on her "watch," still simmering.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Troll Whisperer on 01/17/2014 at 3:02 PM

Re: “Warren's lesson in crisis management

After years of highly competent, ethical leadership in Rochester city government, we have dropped off a cliff. Chauffeur 's , bodyguards, nepotism, law breaking, lying, political elitism and ill conceived, stupid ideas like a downtown water park. Really? It is tragic for a community that fought so hard to attain the urban renaissance that had just begun. Confidence is a fragile thing. This group better shape up and get serious soon or every single Rochestarian will lose. Forget "two cities," one city is going down the tubes fast!

25 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Mark on 01/17/2014 at 2:54 PM

Re: “Warren's lesson in crisis management

What a load of BS. Hopefully he won't be driving like that w/ Mayor "Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time" Warren's kids in the car. It must be nice to get preferential treatment from the (so-called) "law" though... us peasants would at the very least be slapped with multiple fines, points, and a $300 "driver responsibility assessment". Two Rochesters indeed! Oh, he had to pay $50 for a rolling right-on-red and gets a week off of "work" while collecting a pension??? That oughtta learn 'em! Well done Rochester voters... I'm sure this administration will do wonders for the city!

26 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by J on 01/17/2014 at 1:39 PM

Re: “White charts new agenda for Rochester school board and district

Conversation is always better than nothing but there are some key points to be made about his efforts. First, will we really learn anything new? I bet not. Secondly, why isn't the superintendent ahead of him on these? Lastly, the living contract model would be an ideal place to start change and there seem to be people interested in kick-starting these. Why spend two months to end up where you are now? President White, start meeting with motivated players and get the ball rolling. The public may jump on board if they have something to grab onto.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gotta Say This on 01/17/2014 at 12:14 PM

Re: “Warren's lesson in crisis management

One, the lesson that the mayor hopefully has learned should have been something she already knew. She shouldn't have to learn on the job that lying is wrong.

Two, Reggie Hill has repeatedly stated that he was following standard procedure for security details. Does that mean our thruway and other roads are a raceway for every elected politician in NY being escorted by a security detail? Is this standard practice? If so, it shouldn't be. If I can't speed, neither should anyone else not acting in an emergency situation.

31 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Martin Petrella on 01/17/2014 at 10:06 AM

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