Monroe County executive candidates Adam Bello and Cheryl Dinolfo locked horns Tuesday at the Rochester Rotary meeting at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
Economic development dominated the agenda. Dinolfo, the Republican incumbent, pointed to her record. She said that 20,000 jobs were created and that Monroe County was third in the state for jobs retained.
Bello, her Democratic opponent, said job growth in the county is flat. The county clerk also poked at Dinolfo’s use of taxpayer money.
“When our idea for economic development is offering tax incentives for high-end athletic clubs that may or may not have been created by the incentive to create these jobs, I think we’re off on the wrong track and we have the wrong strategy,” said Bello.
Bello emphasized the county’s responsibility is to create an environment for local businesses to thrive so they can hire young adults and grow the area’s tax base.
“Government doesn’t create jobs; most of you in this room create jobs. We create the environment to be successful,” said Bello. “When your population remains relatively flat, when your GDP growth is relatively flat and we’re really not just growing as a community, we’re just asking people who already live here to pay more.”
Dinolfo said the county already has programs in place to help college graduates and other adults find jobs. She said Monroe County’s cultural events make the difference.
“Make sure that you expose young people to those opportunities because I think once you’re here and you know what Monroe County is all about, you’re going to stay,” said Dinolfo.
As for taxes, Dinolfo said that 85 percent of county taxes are mandates from the state and those taxes are out of control.
“Monroe County is doing what we can to control what we can. There’s always more work to be done,” said Dinolfo.
Early voting in New York state starts this weekend. Seven locations open Saturday in Monroe County:.
Polling sites are as follows:
- Greece Town Hall: 3 Vince Tofany Blvd.
- Ogden Town Hall: 269 Ogden Center Road.
- Monroe Community College Downtown Campus: 321 State St.
- Penfield Town Hall: 3100 Atlantic Ave.
- Marketplace Mall: 1 Miracle Mile Drive (north entrance, room 530).
- SUNY Empire State College: 680 Westfall Road.
- Ridge Culver Plaza: 2255 East Ridge Road.
Dates and times early voting will be available at any of the above sites:
- 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.
- 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27.
- 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28.
- Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29.
- Noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30.
- 7 a.m.to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31.
- 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1.
- 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2.
- 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3.