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To our readers 

It is City Newspaper's practice to refrain from campaign commentary the week prior to an election, to help insure that candidates have the opportunity to respond to our views.

            We are breaking from that practice, reluctantly, this week, to analyze and comment on the proposed 2004 county budget. The county's fiscal condition is the single most important issue in this year's county-executive race. The 2004 budget will have a major impact on the county's financial future, and the budget was not released in time for analysis in last week's issue.

            Readers will note that our analysis is critical of the Republican candidate for county executive, Maggie Brooks, and of the Republican leadership. Despite repeated attempts, we have not been able to contact Brooks to get her comments on the budget for this week's newspaper. We encourage Brooks, Republican leaders, and other critics of our analysis to send us letters this week; we'll post them immediately on our website (www.rochester-citynews.com). And we encourage readers to watch our website for such letters. They'll be listed as "Budget feedback."

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