This is Rochester
A summary of noteworthy news about Greater Rochester politics
Most recent developments
RCSD school board wins round in State Supreme CourtAug. 2, 2019 -- Rochester City Hall cannot put an advisory referendum about the future of the city school board on the November ballot, a State Supreme Court justice has ruled.
In the decision, Justice Scott Odorisi was also critical of a letter sent to some city residents about the upcoming referendum, which Mayor Lovely Warren's office said was designed to educate residents about the issue. Odorisi called the letter a "loud and clear endorsement of referendum" and added it "smacks of prohibited advocacy."
The Monroe County District Attorney's Office is looking into the letter, a spokeswoman said. A city spokesman declined to comment.
Odorisi said that some of the issues involving City Hall's desire to remove the elected school board have to go back to City Council for a new vote that is consistent with his order. Chief among the problems is that the November ballot measure would be advisory rather than substantive and as such is not permitted.
The city filed a notice of appeal hours after the decision.
In a recorded statement, Warren called the decision "a grave injustice." She said the district's lawsuit protects adults who profit from a failed education system and silences citizens.
Posting on Facebook, school board member Willa Powell wrote: "The City has no more grounds to attack us, and even if they did, it won’t do them any good. So, Madam Mayor and Honorable City Council... shut up and let us do our job!"
Monroe County Republicans approve Napier as leaderJuly 18, 2019 -- The Monroe County Republican Committee has approved interim selection Bill Napier as its permanent chairman.
Napier had been acting chairman since last month when Greece Supervisor Bill Reilich stepped down after nearly 11 years in the role.
Napier is leader of the Brighton Republican Party. He most recently served as the assistant Monroe County executive.
Republicans courting Bellavia for Collins' seatJuly 9, 2019 -- A group of Republican Party supporters has begun courting recent Medal of Honor recipient David Bellavia to run for Congress.
Though Bellavia has not publicly expressed interest in running, supporters led by political consultant Michael Caputo launched www.DraftBellavia.com this week.
The Iraq War veteran ran in 2012 and lost to Rep. Chris Collins in the Republican primary. Collins is facing trial on charges related to allegations of insider trading and he has not said yet whether he'll seek re-election next year.
Bellavia received the Medal of Honor from President Donald Trump last month.
Dinolfo defeats Bello in Independence Party primaryJune 25, 2019 -- Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo won the Independence Party primary over Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello, securing a critical third ballot line when the two face off in the general election in November.
Dinolfo already had the Republican and Conservative lines. Bello will appear on the Democratic and Working Families lines.
Both candidates had laid claim to the Independence Party designation in a dispute between party officials at the local and state levels. A state judge ruled in May that registered Independence Party members should resolve the dispute in a primary.
The Independence Party line accounted for approximately 6 percent of Dinolfo's vote total in the 2015 election.
Peo wins City Council primary raceJune 25, 2019 -- Jose Peo defeated challengers LaShana Boose and former Rochester City Court judge Leticia Astacio for the Democratic nomination in the Northwest District.
The seat is currently held by Molly Clifford, who is not seeking reelection. In the East District, Mary Lupien won in a five-person race for the Democrat nomination, easily outdistancing Michael Geraci, Stanley Martin, Wayne Harris and Bryce Miller in pursuit of the seast being vacated by Elaine Spaull.
In the Northeast and South districts, incumbents Michael Patterson and LaShay Harris defeated challengers Norman Simmons Jr. and Ann Lewis, respectively, to earn the Democratic nominations.
Reilich leaving duties as county party chairmanJune 8, 2019 -- Greece Supervisor Bill Reilich announced he is stepping down as chairman of the Monroe County Republican Committee.
Reilich, who has served as the party chairman since 2008, will be replaced by Bill Napier, the leader of the Brighton Republican Committee pending official confirmation at the permanent replacement at the committee's July organizational meeting.
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