How can City report this with a straight face?
How long has Morrelle been in office anyway? I don't remember him EVER taking a courageous position on poverty, minimum wage, child care, affordable housing, gun control, education or other issues that Democrats care about. Everyone in the know--with the exception of this paper, apparently--understands that Morrelle's getting ready for a bid for Congress and is angling to shore up the base before he's tapped as Louise's heir apparent. This task force is just a ploy to create a record where there isn't one, with the bonus of co-opting Warren's agenda and pissing off Gantt.
As an added benefit, the task force gives Morrelle a platform for one of his rising stars/cronies-- Vinnie Esposito-- to talk up poverty too before he announces his bid for County Executive. That was on full display at last week's Poverty Breakfast at the RBA whose Duffy is getting dangerously cozy with the Morrelle side of the Dem's civil war. Looking forward to Vinnie putting his money where his mouth is and including some of that poverty rhetoric into the economic development plan. I'm sure the fat cats won't mind.
Dear friends on the task force: you've been played and now you're on the hook for endless meetings and photo opps that will lead to no change. Be that a lesson, Rochester.
Couldn't agree with Hannibal Lecter more.
Arrogance is the right word to describe McFadden's conduct. So is impunity. The most damaging part of this whole fiasco is Moses and McFadden's narrative that they were persecuted because they were the only ones in town who wanted to have a courageous conversation about poverty. Give me a break. This community will never make a dent in our social problems if public officials are allowed to shield their misconduct by attacking the press and public in this way. Poverty pimps.
What I want to know is: when does Moses resign? How much longer on his term?
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.
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.
Christine-your instincts are good. This is nothing but political theatre. The mayor is banking on the residents being too uninformed to question her grand gesture of calling for McFaddens's resignation when she should be calling for Moses'. I have no doubt Warren, MOses and McF still intend on him having the permanent gig. First, the board will delay the search and extend his interim period, then they will gin up resident support for McF and invite him to apply in a sham search (think Vargas, another unqualified Gantt appointment).
I really hope City starts digging into McF's fitness--even as interim--to run the RHA. Not just his lack of housing experience. Or lack of experience with a staff and budget of this size. What about his racist, homophobic and frankly, idiotic, comments on WDKX. Last week he was recommending that all of Rochester's drug dealers should band together and buy some land in advance of legalized pot so they could start growing. Not to mention his paranoid rants about the media persecuting him and the mayor. Does our federal government condone these sorts of public statements from its agency leaders?
Has the press circled back to the mayor to see if Moses' prepared statement satisfied her questions in the letter? He certainly didn't answer the press (as a proxy for the public) questions, seems like resignations are in order. Most of us suspect she will do some foolish acrobatics to protect him, despite overwhelming evidence that he is not up to the task of chairing a $62 m public authority.
Personally, I think the letter and the press conference were just different acts of the same play. Warren, Moses and McFadden have been plotting this for months, publicly denying it all the way, but openly taking about it amongst friends. It's an incestuous bunch too: Warren's campaign advisor and donor is Moses' lawyer. Another RHA lawyer is married to Adam's assistant. Adam's cousin reps Adam, hilariously writing a legal opinion abut no conflict of interest.
I hate to be a crass taxpayer, but what's the pricetag of this amateur hour going to be? Severance package, forensic audits, outside counsel, possible federal penalties, advertising fees for the bogus national search everyone is now talking about. This debacle is costing taxpayers a fortune. Will any of these costs be covered by director's insurance or does it all come out of the general fund that could be paying for, oh I don't know, exterminator or painter or locksmith services for residents?
The attorney to Moses' left at the presser is Todd Bullard, long time friend and campaign advisor to Warren. He hosted a fundraiser for her at Harris Beach last year. Hard to believe they aren't coordinating.
The real costs of this Castro ouster are adding up. 5 lawyers, 2 firms? A forensic audit? That presser alone cost thousands of dollars. Not to mention Castro's severance package. It's troubling that Moses seems to be sparing no expense to cover his behind. Is the full board authorizing these expenses or does he have control of the checkbook? From what I can tell, the RHA board stopped posting its board minutes when the new board (Moses' board) took over. A public body is required to conduct its business in public, not in secret. If the board's claims are legit, should be some public record of these 'questionable business practices' and 'stonewalling' in the minutes, no?
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