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Mayor Tom Richards has a decision to make. In the coming months he has to determine if he’ll run for his first full term as mayor. He won a special election last year and his term expires in 2013. This is what he told me in a report I did for 13WHAM:

“I’m the kind of guy who quite frankly never learned how not to work. That’s pretty much what I’ve done my whole life. I don’t have a lot of hobbies. I don’t play golf. But that’s something to think about. You want to make sure you’re healthy and vigorous enough to do this job. I think I am. It certainly takes that. There are other issues with my family and so forth I have to think about. This is a show up job…And if you do it there are consequences for the people around you.”

I think Richards will run. He held a $1,000-a-ticket fundraiser last week. But if he decides he wants to retire and spend more time with his family, you can expect a free-for-all in 2013.

I imagine the race would be like the one in 1993. Bill Johnson, head of the Urban League, emerged from a field of six Democrats to win the primary. It was considered an upset. The race would almost certainly be settled in a September Democratic primary, because of the city’s overwhelming Democratic enrollment.

Who would run? I have no idea. I expect City Council members Lovely Warren, Elaine Spaull and Dana Miller would be in the mix. Perhaps Molly Clifford would enter the fray. Former mayoral candidates Tim Mains and Wade Norwood could come out the of woodwork. School board members Jose Cruz and Malik Evans could jump in.

Or we could see someone out of the box. Bill Johnson, Bob Duffy and Tom Richards were not politicians before they were elected mayor. I have a feeling we’d be in for a surprise.

Links of the Day:

– An Ontario County supervisor wants people to set aside their “landfill hysteria.”

– A Buffalo FBI agent is busted for driving without pants.

– A judge refuses to send back to prison a Buffalo man who has leukemia and wants free health care.

– No one knows who invited former governor David Paterson to a party at Destiny USA.

– There’s a new way to light roundabouts, making them safer for cars and pedestrians.

– Cities want to attract young people, but do they really listen to what they want?

– On this day in 1901, there was a bizarre sidewalk collapse on South Ave.

16 Responses to If Not Him, Who?

  1. My opinion….I just don’t understand why this guy is the mayor? To use an analogy, he is very similar to the current coach of the Buffalo Bills. Seems like a nice guy, talks a good game, but the results of his decisions end up being failures. Wasn’t he the architect of the failed Fast Ferry? Wasn’t he chief council that negotiated the lease for the two guys who made a fortune on the collapse of the ferry? Wasn’t he the guy who negotiated the long term lease with Toronto? Wasn’t he the guy who allowed the Occupy folks to take over and destroy a city park? Wasn’t he the guy involved in the collapse of the downtown Renissance Square project? How about the Midtown Tower and Paetec? I truly believe he is unable to make decisions based on facts and instead makes decisions based on emotions. That is a recipe for failure….as has been the case.

    • Tom Richards was not the architect of the fast ferry. He is the one who as corp. counsel dumped the thing and sold it. He was not the “cheif counsel” who negotiated the lease. He literally hads nothing to do with it. You can thank the Johnson admin. for that. You may consider doing the tiniest bit of research before posting.

  2. December 11, 2012 at 10:41 am RaChaCha responds:

    If Richards doesn’t run, it’s guaranteed the Gantt team will make a play for the mayoralty with Lovely Warren. As president of Council, she would get a lot of councilmember support, which would help with LD committee support.

    The question, then, is whether the “good government” folks (for lack of a better term) and their business community supporters who backed Bob Duffy against the Gantt candidate (Norwood) in 2005 would also put up a candidate this time. I could see someone like Molly Clifford being that candidate, and potentially getting MCDC support.

    Could be wrong, but I can’t see Elaine Spaull making a serious run of her own — she’s rather conflict-averse and doesn’t like making enemies. And I’m guessing Dana Miller wouldn’t want the renewed scrutiny of his actions in the ambulance contract.

    But yeah, it could end up like a large MegaMillions jackpot, attracting a lot of people to get in, pay their buck, and see how they do.

  3. As a Millennial, I would just like to co-sign that article about cities and young people.

  4. Every person listed is worse than Richards because every one of them is political hack with loyalty to a party before anything else, especially their oath of office. How is Rochester missing the boat on the nationwide disgust with both political parties? Didn’t they pay attention when Duffy played everyone, including me I’ll admit, for his own personal gain while his daddy Andy continues to prove he is not a leader but just building a resume for the national scene.
    That’s right, it’s what I keep saying, it’s The Machine. The do-gooders of the Pittsford Mafia and the criminally negligent Gantt crew along with the completely worthless D&C ‘leadership’ that holds only one side publicly accountable (but really doesn’t, as it’s only when they in the Republican Party do blatantly stupid things like DWI’s and cigars that can’t be ignored that they clean house). The Lightfoot contingent showed some spine challenging Gantt but the family is too entrenched in The Machine (along with focusing on only one minority group) to make a difference in what we have had forever here; incompetence.
    I spent an hour today listening to author Tom Hicks discuss his new book ‘The Generals’ today on the radio and he talked about what I’ve seen since my days serving in the military and to an even greater extreme in the City, personal political gain and connection trumps all accountability. People are placed in positions they are not remotely qualified for due to connections, color, sex and worst of all just because they are willing to ‘live’ in the City limits. Nobody is fired for incompetence, only as payback for political support, etc.. Nobody is ever told to explain their actions or decisions or leave. The only demotions I’ve seen were done as political attacks under the guise of budget cuts and they were done to extremely competent leaders who spoke their mind (and they were eventually re-promoted, again for ‘budget reasons’). The old saying at work of ‘F up and move up’ is the mantra of City gov’t and I assume in the towns and county too as they are run by The Machine too. It is also why, as Mr. Ricks explained, the best middle management people choose to leave as soon as the opportunity presents itself. I can’t wait to.

  5. How about a REP for Mayor….. is there no one who could serve?

    No of course there some who could do the job, only there is no REP who could win. Not even close, not Parinello, not Romney, not Ronald Reagan. Heck not even Abe Linclon himself could get elected in this City with an R after his name.

    And that is the root of the problem with the city, the CSD and the minority voter.

    With no check and balance in city government there is no opposition and no real alternative heard.

    But hey with 6 yr old black boys 12 yrs later graduating at 9% rate, whats the problem? Just vote for the DEMs…. yea thats the ticket.

  6. Because they are just as corrupt?

  7. Lovely Warren has been groomed for the Mayor position ever since the David Gantt political machine got her elected (I believe she was appointed to her first position so she could run as an “incumbent” when she did have to run).

    Richards is an enigma, and the way he gave over $20 million in taxpayer money to RochWil was beyond the pale. Tom will go to Albany begging for money, and then forgive one of the richest families in Rochester (the Wilmot’s – also one of his top campaign contributors) over twenty million dollars. It’s outrageous.

    • This “gave over 20 million to Rochwil” is the most ridiculous, intellectually dis-honest bit of demogogery I’ve heard in a long time. RochWil is a shell company with no assets. Wilmorite is legally protected from any liability. The city has no reasonable recourse to recover these funds, thanks to a terrible deal the Ryan admin. made with Wilmorite. What would you have the city do? Spend thousands more dollars pursuing RochWil and Wilmorite for money it has no way of ever collecting? Forclose on the building and spend thousands if not millions more maintaining, securing, and marketing the albotross? Do you honestly suggest that Tom Richards allowed Wilmorite to get over because they contributed the equivalent of what he could find in the cushions of his couch to his campaign? Conspiracy theories sure are fun! Wilmorite got over because the city made a terrible deal. Richards did what he was elected to do – that is, act like a grownup and get us out from this mess. Not waste time and money making ill-informed folks feel like “justice” was done.

      • Tom Richards sure acted like a grownup when he negotiated the $1 a year lease deal for the fast ferry terminal in his position as “Corporate Counsel” for the city. Give the guy credit – he’s used to giving things away. At least he’s consistent.

        • Wrong Again. He wasn’t Corp. Counsel when that happened! I’m thinking of getting you a newpaper subscription for Christmas. You don’t even have the basic timeline correct. How could anybody, anywhere, be this uninformed?!?

          • Talking about timelines, please goodguv, tell us all about the no-bid, six-year contract the city signed in 2008 for Pier 45; a contract Mr. “corporate counsel” Richards signed off on. Maybe you can tell us all how this operation has been an endless source of profit for the city of Rochester. And maybe you can explain why Mayor Tom refuses to pull the plug on this operation which has bled hundreds of thousands in taxpayer money since its opening in the ferry terminal. But they’re making it up with that big time rent that Pier 45 pays. Not.

  8. December 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm RaChaCha responds:

    Love your comments here, GoodGov — I think you should run for mayor.

  9. The repubs don’t even seem like they want to try in city elections. There are people out there that want change, but there’s no one giving it a serious attempt.

  10. Monroe County … with the city the number one contributor to the fund, paid Wilmont 3.5 Mill or more per year to rent Sibley’s while he wasn’t paying the taxes for the last 10yrs.

    So the answer to the questions is YES- the city should have foreclosed on Sibleys and Wilmot a long time ago, taken the property over, and stopped paying rent for MCC to use it. Over the last 10yrs that would have saved taxpayers at least 40M — and that money would not have gone to Wilmot.

    BUT… the real answer is –

    MCC was offered the old Sears building on Monroe for 1 dollar originally when they wanted MCC in the city. It was bigger than Sibleys, one floor and plenty of free parking. BUT DEMS didn’t want that – They wanted MCC to be in the DOWN TOWN area and wanted to pay millions per year to a major DEM supporter to have the students on MAIN ST.

    Like so much of DEM urban planning, that ended up leading in part to the downfall of Downtown. Unlike they claimed no Economic impact of MCC DT has ever been proven. Now we will MOVE MCC out of DT to Kodak. And how have the other DT DEM plans worked out? You know High Falls, the “other” stadium, Midtown, Paetec move, and the rejection of REN. … to name a few.

    MCC DT was at first racially segregated as was predicted. To stop the segregation, MCC moved (forced) numerous programs to be only held at MCC DT. Then the social progressives used fake inflated, forced MCC DT attendance statistics as proof that MCC DT was growing and successful. (an exaggerated lie)

    The truth is that DEMS are still using MCC DT as a means for social engineering DT. DT MCC has never proven any economic impact DT and MCC could be housed at MCC Main TODAY with no new building needed.

    MCC DT is a waste of Taxpayers money to appeal to DEM and racial causes. If we are going to be truthful lets be fully truthful. One MCC in Brighton would be best for all.

  11. I agree 100% that there is no need for a separate campus for MCC anywhere, especially when MCC is literally next to an expressway, only a 5 minute walk outside of the city limits and I’m guessing a RTS bus transfer away from any area already served by RTS. Didn’t MCC start in the city and move to Brighton? There was a reason for it then that is no longer valid? RIT used to have a campus downtown didn’t it? I took some classes at the Brockport ‘campus’ that was at Sibley’s in 1996. What happened to that? Oh that’s right, it’s on St. Paul St. according to the college website. I seem to remember a story or 2 about them moving but I must have missed all of the outrage at the move.

    We aren’t allowed to use the word ‘race’ in America because somewhere along the way the term ‘racist’ was redefined, it even includes discussing one (and only one) religion now unless being Jewish is somehow something impossible for people to ‘become’ or stop being by something like say ‘conversion’. Prejudiced, discrimination, racist, these are words that have been co-opted by various groups for their own personal gain, but thanks to Hollywood, idiots like Al Shaprton and ignorant Americans we allow or own language to be redefined to divide us and keep a true discussion from happening. But then I’ve been told by pillars of the local minority community that ‘real minorities’ means black men only.

    Wilmots=part of the Pittsford mafia. Perhaps Chris will jump in to once again defend his families destruction of retail shopping in so many areas locally while touting their brilliant business sense and the valor shown in their development decisions.
    Maybe he is too busy producing blockbuster movies…….

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