Knowing Rachel Barnhart personally perhaps provides me with a certain bias in the mayoral race. Nevertheless, I state with confidence that she is supremely qualified for the City of Rochester's top spot.
It may appear that I am endorsing Rachel as an outsider, since I am a long-time resident of Henrietta. However, I am a product of the city, having been born on Augustine Street(Maplewood neighborhood), and later living on Rand Street, Shepard Street and Malling Drive, before migrating to the suburbs. However, as a suburbanite, I worked in City Hall for 23 years under mayors Ryan, Johnson and Duffy. I came to understand the city's departmental structures and functions and the role the mayor plays in day-to-day decisions and policies. Rachel has done her homework, and I believe she is ready to lead the city with innovative ideas.
Thus far, Rachel is the only candidate to put forth a detailed campaign platform. Her background as a broadcast journalist was punctuated with her hard work. This included her studying each successive city budget and document, coupled with her determination to get her stories right, aggressively pursuing interview opportunities, even when officials didn't want to be interviewed.
I am impressed that Rachel wants to focus on issues, as opposed to criticizing her opponents. There are certainly many relevant issues to discuss, and Rachel's platform covers all the territory, with more to come.
I am delighted that Rachel is running for mayor. She is one of the smartest people I have ever met. Her talents as a broadcast journalist could have taken her to New York or Los Angeles for a network position. However, her Rochester roots are important to her and her desire to serve as Rochester's mayor is a logical follow-up to a highly successful career that put her in touch with city operations at every level. I was impressed with the well-thought-out platform she put together in advance of yesterday's press conference at which she announced her candidacy. The specifics some are looking for will come as the campaign moves along. She will be terrific in City Hall if elected.
This brings back memories of 1983, when I ran against Rochester's popular mayor, Tom Ryan. For me, it wasn't about politics or an advancement of my personal status. It was about ideas I had to consolidate several county and city services as a means of reducing burdens on taxpayers.
If Rachel Barnhart officially enters the race, I will support her. I am convinced this race would not be about her, but rather her sincere desire to heal divisions in the local Democratic Party and her sincere desire to have a government that works for all in the community, regardless of political affiliations.
I will not be surprised if Molly Clifford enters the mayoral race. She has a lot of support in the community, and she is talented. So, I expect some interesting developments in the next two months. If Lovely Warren is running for reelection, she should state so now, which will help other potential candidates to make decisions.
STATEMENT BY RAY GROSSWIRTH
MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE FOR RPO COMMUNITY SUPPORTERS
Those of us who work on behalf of Arild Remmereit will continue our efforts through legal channels, inspired by widespread community support. We believe that just as a contract can be severed, it can also be restored. Our efforts are driven by our love, respect and admiration for the maestro.
My relationship with the RPO extends over 50 years, and I have never seen a better conductor than Arild Remmereit, in Rochester or elsewhere.
Persons, who shall remain unnamed, have slandered and plotted against Maestro Remmereit from the very beginning of his tenure, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Now, that these same individuals have driven the maestro out of his position (a position that can be restored), they are still not satisfied. They continue to distort the findings of the Craviso report, such as stating in public that the results were negative about Arild, and positive about the CEO. I advise taking a closer look at reports about the CEO, whether it be the Craviso report, or other legitimate inquiries.
Thus far, I have identified 14 musicians in the orchestra who have slandered Maestro Remmereit in blogs, media reports, and via the plotting that took place behind the scenes. Some of this plotting, which still continues, involves the shunning of musicians who support Arild, which has caused a climate of fear, whereby supportive musicians are afraid to speak out. Hopefully, supportive musicians (there are many), will put their fears aside and speak soon. (We know from history that terrible events have happened when good people didn't speak, due to the fear factor.)
Obviously, Maestro Remmereit is devastated by all that has transpired. To add insult to injuy, the RPO shut off the maestro's phone and took his car. A few musicians continue to slander him, which equates to kicking a man when he is already down.
In consideration of the fact that such events described above could also happen with another conductor, I recommend the following: 1.) The presidet of the local musician's union should not also be a member of the orchestra; it represents a conflict of interest, especially when the president is also closely aligned with the orchestra's CEO. 2.) A conductor should never be micro-managed by the CEO and board chair; 3.) The artistic freedom of a conductor should never be hampered by plotting within the orchestra or via the politics of an elected board.
As stated above, I will continue to work toward the best interests of Maestro Remmereit. I am hoping our group's efforts will be successful, whether it be reinstating Remmereit or changing the manner in which board members are elected. If our efforts fail, I will sever all ties with the RPO. I am truly ashamed at what has transpired, and will no longer want to have anything to do with this orchestra if the powers-that-be drive a great conductor and a terrfic person out of town.
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