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Warren's New Management Team Tours City Neighborhoods on Bus

WROC-TV Channel News 8

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren says the city's work is not limited to what happens in City Hall.

On the second day of her new administration, top staffers toured about a dozen city neighborhoods on a bus to get to know the community they'll be serving.

"We still have a lot of hills to climb in terms of some of the suffering that's going on in some of our neighborhoods,” says Spencer Ash, the new director of Housing and Business Development. He says he learned a lot about poverty in the city.

Ash also says the bus tour enabled him to see some of Rochester’s bright spots.

“People have done a lot of great work in this city, getting projects up to speed, helping to transform our city and economic opportunity, but not just to our center city but to our neighborhoods. We need to build on that; we need to expand on that. And I think we have a good team to do that."

More than two dozen staffers attended the bus ride. Among the stops, Brooks Landing, College Town, the Genesee Brewery, Midtown Plaza, the High Fall area, the Rochester Transit Center and St. Joseph House.

"One of the interesting things was meeting some of the people working on these projects and hearing their perspective on it,” says the Interim Chief of Police Michael Ciminelli. “To hear their vision and how they see the city in the next six months and the next six years, I think that made an impact on me. It started a lot of the thinking process on what we can do to help make it happen.”

Ciminelli says he was familiar with a few of the city projects. However, he says the bus ride gave him a chance to get to know his team - calling it a "good first step" for the administration.

“It was good to get everybody stuck on the bus together,” Ciminelli says. “Sometimes we have the tendency to get immersed in our own departments, in what we're doing. So it's good to get out once in a while."

Echoing Ciminelli’s sentiment is 17-year city veteran and new Commissioner of Recreation and Youth Services Marisol Ramos-Lopez.

"Throughout the bus ride we kept switching seats so that everybody had the opportunity to talk to one another. That's really important for starting a foundation of a strong team."

Mayor Warren says she wants her team to maintain a strong connection and desire to help Rochester residents and neighborhoods.