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Most disapprove of mayor's performance

Rochester Business Journal
January 2, 2015

Lovely Warren completes her first year as Rochester mayor this week, and the majority of RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll respondents do not view her performance favorably.

Eighty-seven percent disapprove of her overall performance, with 47 percent saying they strongly disapprove.

In her inaugural address last January, Warren outlined a number of key goals including fixing the city’s schools, making its neighborhoods safe, expanding job opportunities and rebuilding downtown. In her May budget address, she further outlined her priorities including “a shift towards an investment in capital projects that is balanced with investment in human and social capital.”

Among her actions as mayor, Warren formed an Early Learning Council and, based on its recommendations, launched the 3-to-3 Initiative. Eighty-two percent disapprove of her performance in the area of education.

In public safety, she reorganized the Rochester Police Department into a community policing model that will be fully implemented in early 2015. When it comes to fighting crime, 86 percent disapprove.

Major development projects Warren has pursued or supported include the Port of Rochester redevelopment, Midtown and the Inner Loop East Transformation Project. In the area of economic development, 21 percent approve, compared with 79 percent who disapprove.

Warren’s lowest grades came in the area of fiscal management, where just 14 percent approve of her performance.

Roughly 900 readers participated in this week’s poll, conducted Dec. 29.

For information on how the Snap Polls are conducted, click here.

What is your opinion of Mayor Lovely Warren’s overall performance?
Strongly disapprove: 46%
Disapprove: 41%
Approve: 11%
Strongly approve: 2%

What is your opinion of Mayor Lovely Warren’s performance in the following areas?

Economic development    
Strongly approve: 3%
Approve: 18%
Disapprove: 48%
Strongly disapprove: 31%

Education    
Strongly approve: 2%
Approve: 16%
Disapprove: 45%
Strongly disapprove: 36%

Fighting crime    
Strongly approve: 2%
Approve: 13%
Disapprove: 35%
Strongly disapprove: 51%

Fiscal management    
Strongly approve: 1%
Approve: 13%
Disapprove: 39%
Strongly disapprove: 46%

For information on how the Snap Polls are conducted, click here.

COMMENTS:

Mayor Warren needs to show leadership and courage when events unfold such as the national discussion on police actions in St. Louis and New York City. Rather than standing up for the rule of law and those who serve all of us every day with their very lives, she kowtows to those who would divide us and fuel more violence. A poor choice on her part and a true lack of leadership.
—John Nufryk

Her work is competent. Her attitude is terrible, and she does not engage the vox populi that elected her, dismissing them instead.
—Jon Wilder, H & W Technology

She keeps getting a bad rap over largely trivial stuff, like Uncle Reggie, but if you look at her overall strategic direction, it’s positive and uplifting, as opposed to Bill Johnson fighting with everyone, Bob Duffy’s carnival barker-cheerleader act but not actually doing anything (a trait he took to Albany), or Tom Richards, who seemed to walk around with a scowl and dark cloud over his head. Warren is a positive personality and has the energy of youth. What she needs is a new staff of people who can actually run the mechanics of the city without tripping over every crack in the sidewalk—like when Bob King and Jack Doyle brought people in from the private sector to run the county. They did a good job. Taking over the Housing Authority was not a bad move, since it was a moribund agency, but doing it with (Adam) McFadden was a disaster. Lovely is the right strategic leader at City Hall—but after a year of bad tactics she needs to get a better mix of lieutenants and master sergeants to move her agenda forward.
—Bob Sarbane

Any positive progress the mayor has made is overshadowed by her inability to conduct herself in a professional manner. Her initiatives are not completely unsuccessful, but her behavior (inappropriate comments on social media, appointing family members to key positions, etc.) makes it easy to question her integrity.
—Deborah Emerson

Mayor Warren’s first year has been riddled with scandal.
—Natalie Summers

Mayor Warren has demonstrated her knowledge of and commitment to Rochester time and again, delivering a balanced budget, reaching agreements with unions, maintaining focus on downtown development, and helping neighborhoods. I look forward to further legislative collaboration as we continue to move Rochester forward.
—Dana Miller, VP, City Council

NYS is possibly the most beautiful state in the union. However, between Andy Cuomo’s corruption and Lovely Warren’s ineptitude, I will be start planning to look for other states to live in. I plan on retiring in 10 years; it won’t be in New York State.
—Jeff McSpadden, McSpadden Heating and Air LLC

I would have put average if the choice was available. This will be the big year for her and her administration as she should be up on the learning curve and her initiatives will either bear fruit or provide no real return. Investment in the city was already moving forward, so she will be measured on neighborhood improvement, crime and education improvements. These will all improve by providing more opportunity and jobs in the city, as well as bringing the city and suburbs together. All in all, a lot of work to do as she needs to continue to build on the momentum and make sure the wealth gets spread around to more city neighborhoods.
—Keith Newcomer

It boggles my mind that David Gantt was/is not astute enough to recognize that Lovely Warren would be a public relations embarrassment to his community.
—Jerry McCabe

I strongly disapprove of Lovely Warren’s performance based on character. She does not hold herself to a high standard commensurate with her position. She uses very poor judgment when it comes to her actions, behavior and words starting with the speeding episode on the Thruway and most recently with her alleged comments on Facebook.
—Mike Guche, Canfield & Tack Inc.

Everything this administration has “accomplished” was initiated long before she was on the scene. Ms. Warren has some good lieutenants, but she has fumbled the momentum handed to her rather moved the ball forward. And, in my opinion, no one from her party has contributed to the effort in any significant way: Gantt seems to be MIA, Cuomo appears to have something going on in Buffalo, Louise’s train has stopped short of the county line.
—Bob Miglioratti

Although I don’t live in the city, I have an opinion. She has been about as effective as Maggie Brooks has been for her past three terms, i.e. not very effective!
—Hal Gaffin, Fairport

Mayor Warren is trying to do the best she knows. However, unfortunately, she does not (yet?) have the savvy to avoid traps that are set for her. She also seems to fall for the pressure of her “friends,” when she should work for the whole of the city rather than special interests (if she wants to be re-elected). She should use the money that is being doled out for businesses to take down the “zombie buildings,” the worst one higher than three floors with broken windows. This would help everyone in the city.
—Ingo H. Leubner, Crystallization Consulting

Economic development? Closing the Inner Loop at the tune of $21 million to fill it in +$$ for a start? (Why not fill it in with the abandon houses that are torn down each year?) For the redevelopment of million-dollar condos is absurd. What happen to the Midtown redevelopment that still has a large hole in the ground after how many tens of millions of dollars spent? Education? How much more do we need to throw away on ineffective spending? Maybe the UR may make a difference, but at what cost to taxpayers? Fighting crime, not sure she supports the police when we wanted to have a support rally for Officer Daryl Pierson, 32, (after he) had chased and caught Thomas Johnson III, who turned and killed the officer. Lovely strongly told us not to gather and visit the site of the officer's demise. We citizens cannot support our police and rally behind them without threats? Fiscal management? That is a good one. We the taxpayers have no idea. We never get to see the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that consists of: (1) Total cash receipts of all departments, units, etc. (2) Total gross income of taxes, fees, red-light cameras, New York State, etc. (3) Total Investments etc. (4) Total net-worth of city government, including all money accounts of all departments, etc. As a matter of fact, we the taxpayers should see the CAFR for the city school district, Monroe County  and they do exist. For New York State, see following: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/finance/ I know if we taxpayers insisted they show them and understood CAFR we would be shocked as taxpayers!
—G. Palis

I sincerely hope Mayor Warren has learned from her first year’s mistakes and blunders. If and when she takes off her training wheels, I'm hopeful that she develops a "kitchen cabinet" of people who are willing to speak truth to power and don't have any agenda other than making life better for all city residents and those who do business in our community. She needs to realize that she serves all of us and has a vital role as a leader and manager. It will take at least a year of solid success to gain the community's trust and confidence back. I sincerely hope she can take a step back, gain some perspective and move forward. She is smart and well educated, there is no reason she can't succeed.
—Frank Orienter, Rochester

Time and time again over the past year, Lovely Warren has proven herself to be unqualified and unworthy of the position of mayor of Rochester.
—Suzanne Phillips

OK, since she took office, her inexperience and youthful arrogance have been front and center. She takes credit for economic development, all which were begun before she took office. She has done literally nothing tangible in the past year. She makes decisions, then, after a community meeting, she backs off. Her personal displays are a joke, an embarrassment and worse. She is so ill equipped to be our mayor. And she has no filter, says what she is thinking, expecting no consequences, because as she has said, "She is the Mayor". Direct quote. I don't have one positive thing to say about her as mayor. I have been a taxpaying homeowner in Rochester for 45 years, and this is the worst I have seen. Very disappointed in her.
—Kathryn Korol

While it's great to have a younger mayor who is also our first woman mayor and an African American, I can't think of anything substantive and important to the city of Rochester that Lovely Warren has accomplished since taking office. She comes across as anti-law enforcement in a city that needs the full support of its police department. She's taken credit for the new bus terminal—but that was in the works long before she took office. She put friends and family members with questionable qualifications and backgrounds on her team, and her Facebook debacles also point to something really amiss. I also think she could benefit from (additional?) media training, along with more highly experienced people who can guide her words and actions for the rest of her term. Maybe she's already recognized this need, with the addition of her new communications director, James Smith.
—Sara Dixon, Concepts & Copy

Mayor Warren is the local leader with the highest profile to send the messages to the youth in the City Schools that if you finish high school and wait until you are married to have children you can stay out of poverty and succeed. Mayor Warren should spend 1 day a week when she can in the City Schools. I do have a concern about nepotism and cronyism, but these have been in other administrations. If she can get the Education right all the rest will fall into place.
—Clifford Jacobson M.D.

Her response to homelessness is heartlessness.
—Ken Maher

The mayor seems to lack consistent, reasonable judgment. Beginning with the hiring of her uncle and continuing with the cramming of (Councilmember Adam) McFadden to the housing council, to whatever it is that really happened to the Facebook account. The mayor's inexperience coupled with her poor choices in staff leaves me discomforted. Were I a city resident, I'd be quite concerned for the next three years.
—Dorver Kendig, Webster

1/2/15 (c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


What You're Saying 

Bill Fuller at 4:39:59 PM on 1/2/2015
Mayor Warren has been a disaster from the start. She started her term by lying to residents, and 10-11 months later, lied to residents twice more.

Her credibility, integrity and honesty at this point is nil. Her arrogance, inexperience and incompetence continues. Her...  Read More >

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