Why I voted for Adam Bello and a trip down Talker political memory lane, 2015 – 2019

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Adam Bello at the 2019 Labor Day Parade. [Photo: David Kramer]

Last Saturday, the first day of early voting, I chose Adam Bello (D) for County Executive because I trust the judgment of Brighton Town Supervisor William Moehle and I highly approve of the Brighton Town Council.

A few days ago at the grand opening of the Brighton section of the Highland Crossing off Elmwood Avenue, I spoke with Bill about the election.  Specifically, I was interested in how the town and county collaborate — or don’t. Who would better build collaborations, Bello or his Republican opponent Cheryl Dinolfo?

From The Highland Crossing Trail: Connectivity and Collaboration (Reconnect Rochester) The Highland Crossing Trail: Connectivity and Collaboration

From The Highland Crossing Trail: Connectivity and Collaboration (Reconnect Rochester)

Bill said that historically and systemically, there are not enough examples of town/county partnerships. That said, he felt the county was backing off from, and missing out on, collaborative opportunities.

For example, for many years a program existed that helped Towns in Monroe County address serious property maintenance and zombie home issues, where the Town has to spend significant funds to restore the condition of a property or in extreme cases of health and safety, actually require the demolition of the property. The County guaranteed payment of the town’s expense and charged it back to the property owner on their tax bill. The County suddenly discontinued that program, retroactively, on December 30, 2016.

As Bill noted, the program benefited all Towns whether they were predominantly Democratic or Republican.

Bill contrasted the limited collaboration between town and county with the robust collaboration between town and city. For example, the city of Rochester worked closely with the town of Brighton to complete the Highland Crossing.

Bill believes Bello will more aggressively pursue town/county partnerships. According to Bill, as County Clerk, Bello meticulously created and shared governance data with all the towns.

I don’t automatically assume Bill supports Bello based on partisan bias. I accept Bill’s endorsement that Bello would be better for Brighton than Dinolfo.

Admittedly, I have not have followed the campaign as closely as I could. Much of my information originates from the Bob Lonsberry Show. While Lonsberry and I are on opposite sides of the political fence, I appreciate that his show is perhaps the only media platform devoting substantial time to local politics. And, unlike conservative hosts like Hannity, Limbaugh and Savage, Lonsberry presents his viewpoint without being always offensive, abrasive and wrong. Sometimes Lonsberry is right.

In LONSBERRY: Bello Runs With The Wrong Crowd ( and LONSBERRY: How Adam Bello Lost The Election , Lonsberry advances a thesis that Bello was an apolitical good guy with a proven track record of management ability who morphed into a water boy for the statewide progressive agenda. Given my better or worse bias, when Bob dislikes something, I probably like it.

Amongst the many of Lonsberry’s criticisms of the progressive agenda and Bello’s supposed transformation is that Bello is “a gun banner, and deeply concerned about global warming.” First, I doubt Bello wants to ban guns and, more importantly, gun control is a good thing.  As for addressing global warming, if not now, then when?  Thanks Bob for reminding me that climate change is a hoax, fake news and Bello is duped.

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With Cheryl Dinolfo on numerous occasions.

Lonsberry predicts, hesitantly, that the advantages of incumbency will produce a Dinolfo victory, especially as Bello has ostensibly moved too far to the left into the progressive camp for the taste of county voters. At the same time, Lonsberry also points to the recent gains in registration numbers by the Democrats and how some voters will see this election as a chance to punish all Republicans who support Trump.  As I see it, odds are that Dinolfo will squeak by, but the election will be close and could still go either way.

As for Dinolfo, if she wins, I will not be overly disconcerted. Lonsberry defines Dinolfo as a centrist Republican. While not my first choice, I can live with a centrist Republican as long as she continues to display scandal free competence.

Also — from my not always enlightened male perspective — I find Cheryl’s persona appealing.  Cheryl’s campaign ads present her as “a strong woman.” I like strong women very much.  At the same time, I have met Cheryl on numerous occasions; she has been in five magazine photo ops. In each meeting Cheryl flattered — my perception not her intent — my pathetic male ego.  She always appeared in colorful outfits, an endearingly weird hair do and a ready smile like she was happy to see me and be in the photo ops. Political scientists say that women candidates — unlike male candidates — have to balance supposed masculine traits (“strong”) and feminine traits (“welcoming”). Cheryl succeeds in the balancing act.

Lawn sign on Bonnie Brae in Brighton. Van Vechen is the Republican candidate for Brighton Town Supervisor, 10/29/19

Lawn sign on Bonnie Brae in Brighton. Van Vechten is the Republican candidate for Brighton Town Supervisor, 10/29/19

I also voted for Bello because I voted for the Brighton Town Council and Court Democratic Team. County and Town collaborations are made easier when both are represented by the same political party.

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Lawn sign on Avalon Drive in Brighton. 10/29/19

In addition, members of the council are friends of the magazine.  Chris Werner wrote Traffic Control Box Art in Brighton – Evolution of a Community project. As seen in Brighton Town Councilmember Robin Wilt pitches in at the Game at the Corners, at Twelve Corners Middle School, Robin Wilt threw out the first pitch of our 2018 softball season. Judge Karen Morris has participated in several stories, most recently “Motivated by the Audacity:” Remembering 9/11 at Monroe Community College.

Brighton Town Supervisor and Council, bring softball back to Brighton Town Park. From The difference between guys and girls in coed softball at Brighton Town Park

Brighton Town Supervisor and Council, bring softball back to Brighton Town Park. From The difference between guys and girls in coed softball at Brighton Town Park

This year — all politics is local — I have a pet project: reversing the abandonment of softball games at Brighton Town Park. In the summer, I am an umpire and often umpired games at the Park. In its heyday, the Park hosted four games a night five days a week. Players were attracted to the centrally located and well maintained field.

After games, players and fans would stream into Zebb’s, in what was then Loehman’s Plaza, to keep the good times rolling. For reasons uncertain, two or three years ago the games ended.  See The difference between guys and girls in coed softball at Brighton Town Park

Recently when the Council was greeting the public at a kiosk at the Brighton Farmer’s Market, I discussed the issue with Councilmember Jason DiPonzio. Jason showed genuine concern about the loss of the games, saying he would investigate. Brighton Team, reward my vote by bringing softball back to Brighton Town Park. I’ve even offered to be Head Umpire and League Commissioner.

Below is the trip down Talker political memory lane, 2015 – 2019.  Those featured have held or will soon hold an elected office. Also included are Maritza Buitrago who invited me to canvass with her during her 2016 campaign for Family Court Judge and Alex White who has run on several occasions for local offices and is currently a candidate for Rochester City Council.

Rachel Barnhart

Rachel’s Rebel Roots, On the electoral road with Rachel, With Rachel on Broad, CASTED and beyond, On the rally in Washington Square Park. Would Einstein Be Welcome in America Today?, We Are Orlando. And 25 years ago when the RCSD led the nation against discrimination towards gay students

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(top left) Park Avenue area 2016 (top middle) Park Avenue area 2016 (top right) Park Avenue Festival (2016); (middle left) Labor Day Parade 2016 (middle middle) Washington Square Park 2016 (middle right) Pride Parade 2016; (bottom left) Washington Square Park 2017 (bottom middle) Labor Day Parade 2016 (bottom right) with Pixie in the Beechwood neighborhood 2016

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(top l-r) Labor Day Parade 2016; Sasso on Park Avenue 2017; Park Avenue area 2016; (bottom l-r) Labor Day Parade 2016, Washington Square Park 2016, with Pixie in Rachel’s home 2016

Melissa Barrett

On the electoral road with Melissa Barrett, Who are your labor heroes?

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(top l-r) Corn Hill Festival 2016, Rochester Public Market 2019, School of the Arts 2016; (bottom l-r) Brighton Farmers Market 2016, Pride Parade 2016, Brighton Farmers Market 2016

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Labor Day Parade 2016

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(l-r) Buckland Park 2016, Martin Luther King Park 2016, Labor Day Parade 2016

Adam Bello

Who are your labor heroes?, A snowy 100th Veterans Day in Brighton and the Battle of the Bulge

 

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Labor Day Parade 2019

Buckland Town Park, Veterans Day 2019

Buckland Town Park, Veterans Day 2019

Harry Bronson

Who are your labor heroes?, Politics at the Labor Day Parade, On the electoral road with Harry Bronson

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(top left) Labor Day Parade 2019 (top right) Labor Day Parade 2018; (bottom) Park Avenue area 2016

Maritza Buitrago

What Maritza Buitrago can and cannot say on the electoral road.

Maritza campaigning in Brighton 2016

Maritza campaigning in Brighton 2016

Cheryl Dinolfo

Ghosts MIGHT walk the beautiful Brickyard Trail in Brighton., Who are your labor heroes?, In Search of Irishness, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Greater Rochester: A Meditation on the Cost of War

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(top left) Buckland Park 2015, the Brickyard Trail 2016 (bottom l-r) Labor Day Parade 2019, St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2018, Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial at Highland Park 2017

Sandra Doorley

Who are your labor heroes?

Sandra Doorley (R), Monroe County District Attorney

Labor Day 2019

Malik Evans

Marching on Genesee Street for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Action

Outside the Madison Campus on Genesee Street 2017

Outside the Madison Campus on Genesee Street 2017

Sandra Frankel

On a stainless steel American Bald Eagle in Buckland Park and endorsing Sandra Frankel, At the Brighton Town Hall 1957 mural with Sandra Frankel, Where has Cheryl been since August? We know where Sandra was., Ghosts MIGHT walk the beautiful Brickyard Trail in Brighton.More on how the Sandra L. Frankel Nature Park came to be, Girl, you are WEARING that dress! Inspiring Beauty at the Memorial Art Gallery

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(l-r) Memorial Art Gallery 2016, the Brickyard Trail 2016, Buckland Park 2015

Liz Hallmark

Rochester School Board candidate Liz Hallmark rightly and singularly sees substitute teachers as a rich and untapped resource

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South Wedge Farmer’s Market 2015

Bill Johnson

Rejoice, Book Lovers. The Bibliophile Society of Rochester revitalized!

At the 31st Annual Rochester Antiquarian Book Fair Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson (right) and Society member, local historian and author Donovan Shilling. Johnson was a guest speaker several times.

(right) former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson at the 31st Annual Rochester Antiquarian Book Fair

Mark Johns

Badminton shines in Brazil. And “the Game Sublime” has a following in Rochester, including Rajesh Barnabas and New York State Assemblyman Mark Johns

Mark Johns, NYS Assemblyman, District 135

The Capitol Building, Albany, 2014

Mary Lupien

Rochester’s South Wedge: an old working class neighborhood turns progressive, Would America elect a democratic socialist? We already have. Think FDR, Iakaonne´tha ne oneka

(left) Liberty Pole Way, 2016 (right) German House, 2016

(left) Liberty Pole Way, 2016 (right) German House, 2016

Mary speaking at a demonstration against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Liberty Pole Way, 2017

Adam McFadden

Just the facts. On Alex White’s robust campaign (and Adam McFadden’s tardiness)., Election Day and in search of lawn signs in Brighton

(left) Rochester City Hall 2015 (right) lawn sign in Brighton 2018

(left) Rochester City Hall 2015 (right) lawn sign in Brighton 2018

Tony Micciche

“What is the working class?”with Thomas Warfield at the Labor Day Parade.

Tony Micciche, Labor Day, 2016

Labor Day 2016

Bill Moehle

On Veteran’s Day at Buckland and Highland Parks. And the Moral Equivalent of War, Many voices against hate at the Twelve Corners, Third parties at the Brookside polling place (25th Congressional District), Iconic America at the Brighton Little League Parade, What Maritza Buitrago can and cannot say on the electoral road., On the Memorial Day Parade and The Army of the Republic of Viet Nam, In Washington Square Park remembering the first March for Woman’s Lives, April 1989, On the rally in Washington Square Park. Would Einstein Be Welcome in America Today?, The ground breaking of the Brickyard Trail in Brighton and “Memories of the Crab Apple battles”, Veterans Day in Brighton

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(l-r) Brighton Memorial Library 2016, Twelve Corners 2017, Brighton Little League Parade 2o16, Brookside Elementary School 2018

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(l-r) Outside Reifsteck Field in Brighton 2016, Labor Day Parade 2019, Memorial Day 2016, Washington Square Park 2017,

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(l-r) Veteran’s Memorial at Buckland Park 2015, Veteran’s Memorial at Buckland Park 2018, Washington Square Park 2017, Brickyard Trail 2015

Joe Morelle

Politics at the Labor Day Parade,Veterans Day in Brighton, Ghosts MIGHT walk the beautiful Brickyard Trail in Brighton., A ribbon cutting and the Pages of the Brighton Memorial Library

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(top l-r) Labor Day Parade 2018, Veteran’s Memorial in Buckland Park 2018 (bottom l-r) Brighton Memorial Library 2016, Brickyard Trail 2016

Karen Morris

Girl, you are WEARING that dress! Inspiring Beauty at the Memorial Art Gallery, In Washington Square Park remembering the first March for Woman’s Lives, April 1989, A ribbon cutting and the Pages of the Brighton Memorial Library, We Are Orlando. And 25 years ago when the RCSD led the nation against discrimination towards gay students, Iconic America at the Brighton Little League Parade

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(top l-r) Brighton Memorial Library 2016, Monroe Community College 2019, Pride Parade 2016

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(l-r) Memorial Art gallery 2016, Washington Square Park 2017, Brighton Town Hall 2016

Joe Robach

Politics at the Labor Day Parade, Iconic America at the Brighton Little League Parade, Ghosts MIGHT walk the beautiful Brickyard Trail in Brighton., A ribbon cutting and the Pages of the Brighton Memorial Library

(top l-r) Labor Day Parade 2018, Veteran's Memorial in Buckland Park 2018) (bottom l-r) Brighton Memorial Library 2016, Brickyard Trail 2016

(top l-r) Brighton Memorial Library 2016, Brickyard Trail 2016 (bottom l-r) Labor Day Parade 2018, Brighton Little League Parade 2016

Matthew Rosenbaum

Who are your labor heroes?

Matthew Rosenbaum, State Supreme Court

Labor Day 2019

James Sheppard

If your children want to be teachers, send them to East

The Village Gate courtyard, 2015

The Village Gate courtyard, 2015

Louise Slaughter

On his Day, remembering when Martin Luther King visited Rochester, January 8th, 1958, Iakaonne´tha ne oneka, Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite on Election Day and the day after

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(top left) Madison Campus on Genesee Street 2016 (top right) Liberty Pole Way 2016 (bottom) Mt. Hope Cemetery 2016

Jim Vogel

Memories of presidential visits on Election Day in Brighton, Iconic America at the Brighton Little League Parade

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(left) Brookside Elementary School 2016 (right) Brighton Little League Parade 2016

Lovely Warren

Getting To Know Mayor Lovely Warren; A Trailblazing Leader Within Our City, HBCU’s are alive and well in Rochester, On the Memorial Day Parade and The Army of the Republic of Viet Nam, Reflecting on the 1960 Woolworth lunch counter sit-ins at Robert Brown High School,Blessing the Boats and a statue where history was made at Edgerton Park, Charlotte Lahr (1970 – 2017), Adding the first pull up at the new Cobb’s Hill Fitness Court to the Cobb’s Hill series, Adding the very first shot at the Tony Boler Courts, 9:07 a.m., to the Cobb’s Hill series

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(l-r) Riverside Convention Center 2015, Memorial Day Parade 2016, Edison Campus 2015

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(l-r) Rochester City Hall 2017, University of Rochester Rush Rees Library 2016, South Avenue outside Charlotte Lahr’s store 2017

(left) Cobb's Hill 2018 (right) Cobb's Hill 2019

(left) Cobb’s Hill 2018 (right) Cobb’s Hill 2019

Alex White

Just the facts. On Alex White’s robust campaign (and Adam McFadden’s tardiness). Politics at the Labor Day ParadeWho are your labor heroes?,  Third parties at the Brookside polling place (25th Congressional District), My first election: Horton and Cuomo. And some 2018 endorsements. , Activism Fair draws largest crowd of its kind in recent memory, An art museum as a place of meaning in a time of senselessness, After March, # Never Again Movement Needs to Avoid Four Major Pitfalls

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(l-r) Outside James Monroe High School 2015, Labor Day Parade 2017, inside Boldos Armory 2018

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(l-r) Visual Studies Workshop 2017, Memorial Art Gallery 2015, Washington Square Park 2018

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(l-r) Labor Day Parade 2018, Labor Day Parade 2019

Robin Wilt

Brighton Town Councilmember Robin Wilt pitches in at the Game at the Corners, Who are your labor heroes?

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(top l-r) Labor Day 2019,  softball field at the Twelve Corners Middle School 2018 (bottom) softball field at the Twelve Corners Middle School 2018

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Rajesh Barnabas ran for Monroe County Executive as the Green Party Candidate in 2015.  In 2016, as there was no Green Party candidate, Rajesh wrote in my name in for Brighton Town Judge.

Activism Fair draws largest crowd of its kind in recent memory, Badminton shines in Brazil. And “the Game Sublime” has a following in Rochester, including Rajesh Barnabas and New York State Assemblyman Mark Johns, 2016 Rochester Open a smash hit at the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center. And the debut of ZOOM., Adding panel context signs to the Charlotte carousel is appropriate. And the panel is racist, according to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, Memories of presidential visits on Election Day in Brighton, Tavis Smiley joins the conversation with Northeast Prep media students

(top, l-r) RCTV Media Center, Visual Studies Workshop 2017 (bottom) Goergen Athletic Center, 2016

(top left) RCTV Media Center 2016, (top right) Visual Studies Workshop 2017 (bottom) Goergen Athletic Center 2016

Shawn Dunwoody ran for City Council in 2017.

Another mural by Shawn Dunwoody. And Shawn answers Obama’s call to service., Shawn Dunwoody joins our conversation with “Psalms of the Glackx.”, Activism Fair draws largest crowd of its kind in recent memory

(left) Sasso on Park Avenue 2016 (right)

(left) Sasso on Park Avenue 2016 (right) Visual Studies Workshop 2017

Chris Maj ran for Mayor of Rochester in 2005 on the Red, White and Blue Ticket.

“Man’s experience with marijuana had no negative effects” — Democrat and Chronicle, December 22nd, 2018

Chris during the 2005 Democratic Mayoral campaign, from "An Audience of 500 Greets Contenders for the Mayoralty of Rochester." Rochester.indymedia.com

St. Luke & St. Simon Cyrene Episcopal Church,17 South Fitzhugh Street, 2005

SEE ALSO

The Presidential Visits Series in its entirety: James Monroe to Donald Trump