In 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.
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.
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.