Parker's interview reveals much about both she and the business community that she represents. She tells us that business needs to "get the message out that it is concerned about, for example , improving education . " and goes on to say that there are a number of businesses who "have adopted schools." ....Great, free backpacks and stuffed animals so the business community can feel better about helping those poor city kids when she know as well as anyone that that problems cannot be solved unless we break up concentrated poverty through desegregation and fair housing efforts.
And then she tells us that business has "not explained we care about downtown and the 5th highest poverty rate."
Her word choices are telling. In using phrases like "getting the message out and not explained" we can surmise that we just don't understand how much she and her community really care because they have screwed up their message. However missing in her answer are powerful phrases that tell us that she wants to "support , solve, work with ,fund, and help break up "poverty and segregation. Nope, instead she advocates for tweaking the message and then roles out the same tired arguments that it is the fault of unions, principals, and people who won't work for as little as those in Texas and North Carolina.
Her free market thinking makes it ok to give tax incentives to already successful businesses "because we are facing competition" but not to pay people a living wage who a facing heating and grocery bills, paying for day care and just trying to get by. That is the real competition.
Every time I start to get a little hope for our city, people like Parker bring me back to the reality that we are truly divided in our thinking.
1. Is there a drug and alcohol test required for members of the RBA like the company that relocated to Texas? Drug testing for potential employees is not a good indicator of how well they will perform on the job but it's a great way to weed out people who need the jobs the most-poor people and people of color.
2. Why do free market principles apply except for when they don't? Competing against other states by awarding tax breaks to companys is great for cheap labor, high profits and and increasing folks in need of welfare services (see every red state) but not for growing a strong middle class and formidable national economy that is competetive in the world. Shouldn't tax payers help the middle class grow instead of lining the pockets of wealthy investors?
3. Why do business leaders ignore data and theircomplicitness in the demise of the city schools? Loss of living wage jobs with benefits combined with white flight, not wilfully poor educators is why the RCSD is in the shape it is. The biggest indicator of a child's success in school is his/her parent's income level-a stable job with good benefits and placement in an economically integrated school. Replace public schools with charters -break unions and continue de-facto segregation policies and the results will continue to be on par with Kodak's demise.
When our leaders devise solutions to problems that don't exist while ignoring the elephants in the room we all lose.
"I haven't been that involved in the COMIDA process. The only serious criticism I have of COMIDA would be that giving dollars to companies that are moving from one location in Monroe County to another makes no sense to me. Helping a company, let's say, move from the city to Pittsford, that adds nothing."
Well maybe you damn well should have been involved Sandy, and taken Judy Seil to task for that racket she runs with the taxpayers money. Forget about helping a company move from the city to Pittsford, how about the ridiculousness (near criminality?) of using public money to help a retail store move from one side of Jefferson Road to the other? (Tops in Henrietta, beneficiary of COMIDA's largess). Criticism of COMIDA's crony-ist practices would have been much more effective coming from you than a ragtag bunch of activists and the only elected official I've ever seen that gave a damn: former Brighton Town Board member Ray Tierney.
Also, spare me the alligator tears about urban education. You and your ilk wring your hands about it, and tut tut over the lack of parental involvement, dysfunctional school board, and union power, all real issues, but you never support, or even suggest, one thing that would make a big difference: breaking up the city's concentrated poverty. No, of course not. That would be too uncomfortable for RBA's members ensconced in privilege in the P towns.
First, congratulations to City for conducting an in depth interview with a woman that holds different opinions than the author and probably most writers at the papers too bad we cannot expect something similar from the D&C. I agree with most of what she said, so it is probably easy for me to say, but I think Rochester is losing a very classy lady to retirement. She has contributed quite a lot to the area. Best of luck Sandra.
We in Rochester would be luck in Rochester-Monroe County to have Duffy back working for the area Mike... what is your plan to turn Rochester around ? Seems like you are not happy with Parker or Duffy ? What are your ideas instead of blame we need your ideas !!! What is your plan ? Let's pretend that you and I are going to compete for Parker's position; and we need to provide a business plan to the Board at the Alliance and that we have to work with politicians too.
Mike...we will be very lucky to have Bob Duffy back if he is offered and applies for the position that Parker is leaving . WHAT IS YOUR PLAN TO TURN ROCHESTER AROUND ? I WOULD LOVE TO DEBATE YOU OVER THIS OPINION ARTICLE...
Craig R. Moffitt
Sandra Parker has extensive knowledge of business. She is extremely savvy and intelligent. It WILL be tough to find a qualified successor.
I know that Unshackle Upstate New York has engaged in forthright discussions about unsustainable rising pension costs.
Bob Duffy will be used as an insider if he gets this position. He should relax and enjoy his well-earned pensions.
Edit, typo & grammar
*don't instead of done
* of instead of off
Everyone is an educational expert now. I honestly done know where to start with this woman, whom I've never, ever heard off. Good article though, at least the writer asked questions with some depth- sans fluff.
Bill Johnson was the blame ,along with City Council, for the "Fast Ferry" which is why Bob Duffy pulled the plug. But we are talking about Sandy Parker in this setting. What would you have done in her shoes Sean ? I know what I would have done... WHAT IS YOUR PLAN TO TURN ROCHESTER AROUND. I HAVE A FEW IDEAS BUT NO ONE WILL LISTEN OR AT LEAST TRY TO MAKE NEEDED CHANGES FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP. It all takes time and effort in compromise and Sandy has done some good unlike Bill Johnson.
Please. Mrs. Parker, the "business" woman's "business" woman along with the rest of Rochester's Illuminati supported the Fast Ferry without having a shred of common sense OR business sense. They (Parker, Morelle, Doyle, et. al) gave their full-throated support to the project when they were flimflammed by Bay Ferries. Once it was clear the project was untenable (which to those of us with a shred of intellect in our heads was the day it was announced) they stood by silently and let Bill Johnson take all the blame (I believe mostly b/c "He understands the urban community", or in non-suburban code, b/c he's black). She doesn't have the business sense God gave a green apple. As long as she gets a cushy six-figure retirement, I doubt she cares, like the rest of Rochester's Illuminati.
The only thing that makes "good common sense" to me are the criticisms of the Rochester City School District by Parker. As well as criticisms about COMIDA by Parker. It will take about 5-10 years to turn around the RCSD and insert Mayoral and Council control over how $155,000,000 million is spent on children in the School District. The revolving door of Superintendents over the last 30 years could be a key indicator to the Board of Education and the Teachers Union that principles and teachers need to have some type of control of their students... East High has partnered with the U of R but the Board of Education still has final say... not a good plan in my opinion. Parents, teachers, principles are the answer...jobs are the answer...safety is the answer... City of Rochester and the County of Monroe working together is the answer...living moral lives is the answer..
Craig R. Moffitt
I applaud Mr. Bechtold for following his convictions and not forcing OTHERS to support and subsidize his beliefs.
For everyone who believes wind turbines are noisy, I invite you to drive up to Harbec and park next to one of the turbines. What do you hear? Just the traffic on 104.
Heck yeah ! Put a " HOSTEL " in Rochester. We have one in Syracuse and it attracts, the young and the young at heart. It's in the beginning of our " Sedgewick " area, our answer to Rochester's " Highland Park " neighborhood. As of now, the cheapest place in downtown Rochester is the " Cadillac Hotel ". NUFF SAID !
I'd be interested to see a comparison of our school tax rates with those of Raleigh... Surely taxes would be significantly reduced if a plan such as this were put in place here, right?
"Urban Presbyterians Together (which advocates regional communitywide solutions to urban problems"
Oh, I recognize this statement. What it means is that they want the people in the suburbs who are mostly conservative, and didn't create these problems to pay for it all. Additionally they don't want conservative ideas to solve their problems. When the left finally decides that they want to solve the region's problems, let us know.
I want to be charitable and say thank you to Maggie Brooks. It is one of those "hell freezes over" moments that Brooks and I agree--at least on the surface--on an issue.
Then I think more about motivations or, in this case, lack of motivation. Does the lack of motivation to support casinos have anything to do with the fact that Brooks would not be able to hand out favors/contracts/jobs in a casino project because it would be controlled by the Seneca Nation?
The Rochester City School District is a very good example why you should not consolidate into one large county school system just because of the bloated Central Office and their bungling of anything they touch. Same goes with the school board, who should not be paid anything since they really don't know how to make the right decisions for the students they are supposed to care about. Until we do something about the extreme poverty, this will not have any effect.
What a strange one Maggie Brooks is. First she says that she opposes ANY designation of sovereign lands in Monroe County before any study has begun to determine this. Then she says she opposes any expedited process for such a designation. Apparently, the only expedited appraisal she approves of is her own. But that is what we expect from this "leader." Poor reasoning and lots of exceptions for herself, her husband and her circle of co-sonspirators.
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