May 22, 2019

Statement on Morgan by Rachel Barnhart

The anticipated charges against Robert Morgan should be a wake up call to the City of Rochester and Monroe County. While other communities were reevaluating their relationship with his firm, our local officials buried their heads in the sand and continued to reward the company. In the time since the FBI probe was made public in late 2017, COMIDA has …

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April 29, 2019

United Way’s Big Data Project Raises Concerns (Updated)

By: Rachel Barnhart Update 5/6/19: The United Way invited me to speak with CEO Jamie Saunders and the Systems Integration Project Director. I had taken the application at face value, and they are correct that I should have spoken with them before publishing this piece. They had concerns about the tone of the post and several assertions. They walked me …

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April 23, 2019

How Taxpayers Ended Up Contributing to $1.3M Economic Development Study

  Author: Rachel Barnhart Nonprofit agencies scramble for grants from governments and foundations, employing grant writers, development experts and even lobbyists. These funds don’t come easily. Unless you’re Robert Duffy. The former Rochester mayor and lieutenant governor is CEO of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce and the co-chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC), which as an …

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March 27, 2019

Tax Dollars for Restaurants is Nothing New

Author: Rachel Barnhart When a celebrity chef announced plans to open a restaurant in Rochester, I warned the public that it would likely get taxpayer help. That’s because the city and county have a history of assisting such ventures. The city’s grants and loans are awarded largely in secret. Redd will get property and sales tax breaks from the county’s industrial development agency, …

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February 22, 2019

McFadden Charged in Alleged RHA Scheme

Author: Rachel Barnhart In the summer of 2017, two Rochester Housing Authority workers came into my campaign office and told us about a contract for Capital Connection Partners awarded by an agency subsidiary, Rochester Housing Charities. “Who is behind this?” they asked, concerned taxpayer dollars were being used inappropriately. I filed numerous open record requests, which were all denied. The …

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February 20, 2019

Public in Dark on Police Stations

Author: Rachel Barnhart City Council approved a plan last night to build a police station on East Main St. Rochester for All has tried to obtain information about this plan for months through open records requests, all of which have been denied. The city went from two police sections to five several years ago. The city planned to have an office …

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February 15, 2019

Proposal Would Restrict Neighborhood Groups

Author: Rachel Barnhart The City of Rochester is considering a dramatic proposal to regulate neighborhood associations. Little Italy Neighborhood Association President Silvano Orsi said a City Council aide gave some neighborhood leaders a copy. The document sets out requirements for neighborhood groups to be “officially recognized” by the city. Those requirements include being a 501c3 corporation, electing officers every two …

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January 16, 2019

City Quietly Paid Pegulas $1.1 Million; Won’t Release Payment Details

The City of Rochester quietly paid the company managing the Blue Cross Arena $1.1 million back in November – and won’t release any details about the payment. Rochester for All discovered the November 8 payment to Rochester Arena LLC in the city checkbook register. We filed a Freedom of Information Law request for, “All information related to check number 70001016 …

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January 14, 2019

Ethics Board Decisions Are Here

The City of Rochester Board of Ethics has finally issued advisory opinions for several complaints filed by Rochester for All over the past year. The board did not find any violations, even though it acknowledged the conduct occurred in some cases. The board issued recommendations in those cases. Rochester for All was never contacted by the board to appear at …

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December 28, 2018

City to Demolish Houses for Police Station; Won’t Release Site Selection Study

Author: Rachel Barnhart The City of Rochester wants to spend $500,000 to purchase seven houses and three vacant lots to construct the Goodman Section police station and Southeast neighborhood service center. Legislation has been submitted to City Council for approval. Six houses are on Laura St. and one is on East Main St. Each resident will be given $1,000 to …

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