Links of the Day:
– The Democrat and Chronicle reports that Assemblyman David Gantt appears to be the “lone driver of the mayoral control train.” No one – not even Lt. Governor Bob Duffy – is rushing in to fight round two of this debate. Excerpt:
Leaving office a year ago, he said his successor — who was unknown at the time — should support such a change and that he, as lieutenant governor, would work from Albany to get the legislation passed in the Senate.
Meanwhile, Mayor Tom Richards has been silent. He didn’t return calls from the D&C or yours truly yesterday.
Update: Rochester’s Mayor penned an op-ed saying that he does not support mayoral control at this time. Tom Richards has yet to take reporter questions this week. Without Richards’ support, it seems the measure is effectively dead on arrival.
– I frequently get asked how many people are actually sleeping in Washington Square Park. We see the tents, but the place looks like a ghost town. I stopped by yesterday and got the answer.
– Brighton came oh-so-close to dissolving the West Brighton Fire Department. The town contracted with the city for fire services, but will keep a small volunteer force in case the city crew is out on assignment. I wonder if this consolidation will be an anomaly or wave of the future.
– A number of New York City entrepreneurs have come up with hangover remedies.
The Democrat and Chronicle reported today Assemblyman David Gantt would reintroduce his legislation giving Rochester’s mayor control of the school district.
This is not a surprise, as it has already passed the assembly. The bill has powerful allies in Gantt, Assemblyman Joe Morelle, Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy and the business community. But the state senate is a lot trickier, as senators Joe Robach and Jim Alesi have expressed strong reservations.
Meanwhile, a lot has changed in the two years since then-Mayor Duffy campaigned for control of schools.
- We have a new mayor who may not want the job as badly as his predecessor. Tom Richards never talks about mayoral control unless prompted and doesn’t do so with any depth. While Richards has expressed support for mayoral control, I find it hard to believe Albany would hand over control of a $700-million-a-year, 32,000-student district to a man who lacks any outward passion for taking the reigns. There’s still time for Richards to show he wants control of the district. So far, he hasn’t laid out any vision.
- Opposition to mayoral control has grown among area residents. The 2011 Voice of the Voter poll shows 50 percent of respondents oppose and 38 percent support mayoral control. In the 2010 poll, only 30 percent opposed mayoral control.
- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s record on education has been knocked in polls and gains in test scores under his leadership were nearly wiped out.
- The Rochester City School District is no longer run by mayoral-control-friendly Jean-Claude Brizard. The district is in a state of relative calm compared to the turmoil of the last few years. Is it time to rock the apple cart as the school board searches for a new leader – one who may already be in the position? Maybe it’s the perfect time, if you want to install the mayor as chief.