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Evans makes another round of appointments to his administration 

click to enlarge Mayor-elect Malik Evans (left) and incoming Commissioner of the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development Dana Miller.

PHOTO BY GINO FANELLI

Mayor-elect Malik Evans (left) and incoming Commissioner of the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development Dana Miller.

Mayor-elect Malik Evans continued his roll-out of senior staff appointees Thursday, several of whom held positions during the previous administration.

For example, Dana Miller, who served as deputy commissioner of the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD) under Gary Kirkmire, will serve as Commissioner of the department in Evans’s administration. Kirkmire will be retiring from City Hall at the end of the month.

Miller previously served on the Rochester City Council and as Council Vice President. Erik Frisch, meanwhile, will move from his role as special projects manager for the Department of Environmental Services to deputy commissioner of NBD.

“(Miller) has this long arc of experience in business, in processes, in neighborhoods, and philanthropy,” Evans said. “This department is one that I spend a lot of time thinking about, and I think Dana is the guy for the job.”

Evans explained Frisch’s appointment as an example of “cross-pollinating” city departments. Frisch has worked in the Department of Environmental Services since 2007, and played a key role in developing and implementing a city plan to make its streets more bike-friendly. He’s also focused on public green spaces, among other things.

“Part of what you will see in my administration is you will see me taking folks from where they are and doing what I call the mash-up,” Evans said. “Erik has spent his career in DES, he’s going to be coming over to NBD, where a lot of these projects have an economic development lens.”

At the Rochester Fire Department, Teresa Everett will serve as executive deputy fire chief, the first Black woman to hold the position. Everett has served as deputy chief of training for RFD for the past five years, and previously held high-ranking fire department positions in Gary, Indiana, College Park, Georgia, and Baltimore. She previously served as deputy chief in Rochester before relocating to College Park.

Everett was recommended for the position by Fire Chief Felipe Hernandez, who has served as interim-chief since September and was affirmed a permanent appointment by Evans earlier this month.

“Everett has broken glass ceilings at every single level of her career,” Evans said.

Along with the new appointments, Evans announced two positions which will carry over from the previous administration. Patty Uttaro will continue serving as director of the Rochester Public Library and Monroe County Library System, a position she has held since 2009. Timothy Weir will also continue serving as Director of the Office of Public Integrity, who has held the position since 2014.

“You are only as strong as the team you assemble, and I believe we are assembling a strong team,” Evans said.

Evans will take office on January 1, but he has spent the past several months assembling his senior leadership team.

On Dec. 3 he announced the first round of candidates he’d selected to lead city departments. One of the appointments he announced at that time was that of Hilda Rosario-Escher, who was supposed to be director of special projects. She withdrew soon after the announcement when her use of social media to defend former Gov. Andrew Cuomo against allegations of sexual harassment, and to dismiss his victims, was brought to light.

Evans has yet to announce who will fill several key positions, including deputy mayor. He said those announcements will be coming soon.

Gino Fanelli is a CITY staff writer. He can be reached at (585) 775-9692 or gino@rochester-citynews.com
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