Monday, March 17, 2014

Week Ahead: Early Learning Council meets, Hardaway press conference, village elections, and more

Posted on Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Update: Tuesday, March 18, at 12:15 p.m.
Rochester schools Superintendent Bolgen Vargas's coffee and conversation meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. tonight has been cancelled. He will be presenting board members with a more detailed action plan for improving city schools in the district's central office, 131 West Broad Street, at 7 p.m. The meeting is open tot he public. 

Rochester’s newly formed Early Learning Council will meet for the first time this week. The meeting is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, in City Council chambers at City Hall, 30 Church Street.

If you want to speak, you have to sign up by 5 p.m. the day before the hearing. Call 428-6856. Speakers will be given three minutes.

Mayor Lovely Warren convened the council in response to Governor Cuomo's proposal to expand New York State's pre-K program.

The council will lead public discussion about the challenges and opportunities inherent in educating Rochester's youngest and most vulnerable students. It will report on the status of Rochester's current pre-K program, recommend program and policy changes to the program, and lobby for federal and state pre-K funding.

The Rev. Lewis Stewart, president of United Christian Leadership Ministry, will hold a press conference on Tuesday to address the sentencing of Brenda Hardaway.

A video surfaced last summer showing Hardaway struggling with a Rochester police officer. The officer’s decision to subdue the then-pregnant Hardaway by striking her in the back of the head prompted outrage from some residents, clergy, and social-justice groups.

Hardaway pleaded guilty to second-degree assault. Her sentencing is at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 18, in Judge Francis Affronti’s court on the fourth floor of the Hall of Justice, 99 Exchange Boulevard. The press conference is at 10 a.m. the same day, on either the fourth floor or outside the Hall of Justice, on the plaza. BY CHRISTINE CARRIE FIEN

Rochester schools Superintendent Bolgen Vargas will hold his coffee and conversation meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, at central office, 131 West Broad Street.

Parents, teachers, and students are invited to bring concerns and questions to the superintendent. BY TIM LOUIS MACALUSO

Tuesday is Election Day in three Monroe County villages. From noon to 9 p.m., voters in the villages of Pittsford, Hilton, and Scottsville will be able to cast their ballots.

Hilton has the only contested race of the bunch. Two candidates are running for mayor: incumbent Joseph Lee on the Hilton First line, and current village Trustee Andrew Fowler on the Family Values Party line.

Three candidates are running for two trustee seats: incumbent Larry Speer on the Citizens Party line, Mike Clark on the Community First line, and Sharon Zabelny on the Peoples Party line.

In Pittsford, sitting Trustee Frank Galusha is running unopposed on the Republican and Pittsford Village United lines. Earlier this year, Galusha was appointed to a vacant seat. He’s running for the remaining three years of his predecessor’s term.

In Scottsville, Mayor Paul Gee and Trustee Leslie Wager are seeking re-election, running on the Village Advocates line. Alexander Ronnenberg is running for the second open trustee seat on the Scottsvillians line.

The Monroe County Charter Review Committee’s cutoff for public comments is Thursday. The committee is reviewing the laws governing the county’s organization and operations.

The committee members have proposed changes, though they are largely wording and personnel title fixes or efforts to incorporate the internet into official communications. For example, it would require the annual budget summary to be posted on the county website. Proposed changes to the charter would require the approval of the County Legislature. 

But some members’ recommendations are more substantial, such as replacing the Civil Service Commission with a personnel director.

Representatives of the League of Women Voters, along with Legislature Democrats, have suggested that the charter should be changed to lessen the Legislature’s influence in its once-a-decade redistricting process.

Comments can be submitted via e-mail to BY JEREMY MOULE

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