Where has Cheryl been since August? We know where Sandra was.

Where has Cheryl been since August? We know where Sandra was.

Sandy Frankel Sept 13 to 19-page-1In September, I endorsed Sandra Frankel for Monroe County Executive. My testimonial –written on a Buckland Park bench made possible though Sandra’s vision and dedication–spoke to her to tireless engagement with the entire Brighton community during her 20 years as Town Supervisor.

On a stainless steel American Bald Eagle in Buckland Park and endorsing Sandra Frankel


Since then, I have watched Sandra crisscross Monroe County.  The list seemingly inexhaustible.  To name but a few, the Sicilian Sport Club Candidate Forum, the Clarissa Street Reunion, the Rochester People’s Coalition and LVW Candidate Forum on Climate Change, the AAUW Candidates Forum, a Prayer Service for the Boys and Girls Club shooting, Reverend Dixon’s Save the Children Event, two meetings of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Councils, the Nineteenth Ward Parade, the SEUI 200 Candidates Forum and the Puerto Rican Festival and Parade.

As seen in just two days of Sandra’s itinerary (provided by her Scheduler, Mercedes Wilby),  she traveled between the city, Penfield,  back to the city, down to Pittsford, back to the city and finally for a well deserved dinner at Henry’s in Henrietta.

In early August, I met Cheryl Dinolfo for the first time, coincidentally, in Buckland Park at the last Sunset Serenade musical event. While I supported Sandra, I appreciated Cheryl being there and even had a photo taken. Then, I anticipated a robust campaign on Cheryl’s behalf.  Like all campaigns heading down the home stretch, this one gives Cheryl the chance to connect with all Monroe County voters just as they are paying their closest attention — even those who may not vote for her.

IMG_0488Instead, from what I have read and heard, Cheryl has been strikingly absent on the campaign trail — almost a ghost candidate.

In an October 4th, Democrat and Chronicle Guest Column, Cheryl said this about her campaign:

Since my announcement on January 24, 2015, I have attended over 600 events, logged nearly 7,500 miles on my 2008 family van and visited with businesses and thousands of residents throughout the City of Rochester and Monroe County.

If she has been to 600 events, very few have been in the last several months.

For example, in the short list above where Sandra has been, Cheryl was a no-show.  Particularly disconcerting are the four Candidate Forums in which she did not participate. She was at the September 30th NAIOP Upstate Candidates Forum but showed up after many attendees had left.  Also, the Democrat and Chronicle planned to host a debate with the Rochester Young Professionals; however, it was cancelled because “Silent Cheryl” did not accept the invitation.

These forums and debates are a fundamental venue to speak directly to groups of engaged voters directly about issues and platforms.

As for community events, according to Cheryl’s facebook page they were limited indeed. On June 17th, she shared some of her favorite book with kindergarten students and teachers at the  Henry Longfellow School #36. On June 30th, she visited the shelters for homeless women and young adults operated by the Salvation Army of Greater Rochester. On August 4th, she spent time with young women from the Faith Temple Church of Brighton summer program. On August 28th, she participated in the Salute to Seniors. On September 16th, she was at the 13th annual Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Award Luncheon. On September 26th, she attended  the First Responders Day event in Gates. I was told that in August Cheryl was at the Ukrainian Festival and this Saturday at the Walk a Mile in My Shoes event at Ontario Beach Park.

Keeping Cheryl Sightings to a minimum may be a calculated political strategy on her behalf. This is a mistake. Missing forums and debates leave the impression she wants to evade certain questions and hide from certain constituencies. Only drawing into sharp contrast Sandra’s mission to build confidence with all Monroe County voters — even those who may not vote for her. Even if Cheryl wins, she will be a disconnected leader.

I would like to see Cheryl’s complete campaign schedule. I suspect there are a lot of empty spaces.

see also At the Brighton Town Hall 1957 mural with Sandra Frankel

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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