Monroe County Executive Adam Bello’s transition team released an 80-page report Tuesday with recommendations on how Bello should run the county.
Bob Duffy, the president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, co-chairs the team, which is made up of community leaders. He said there has not been a full transition plan formed for the county in decades.
One of the team’s recommendations is to revive the Council of Governments, which was last active about two decades ago. The council brought politicians and educational leaders together regularly to talk, and Bello said during his campaign that he was interested in restoring it.
Duffy said the working relationship between the city and the county, now both controlled by Democrats, has great potential. He says Rochester needs that collaboration to kick-start Rochester’s economy.
“The future of Monroe County and the city of Rochester is intertwined if we’re going to be successful,” said Duffy. “When you look at today’s economics, it can’t sustain. We need to get people to work, we need to raise wages, we need to create a much stronger economy. We don’t do that subdividing; we do that by joining.”
Duffy said efforts like the council could repair, maintain and even deepen relationships.
Hiring a chief diversity officer for the county was another suggestion. But team co-chair and Action for a Better Community leader Jerome Underwood said doing a diversity assessment is more important.
“Inclusion is not one person’s job; it's everybody’s job, and we want it to be systemic, not only in the county
but every institution within Rochester,” said Underwood.
Underwood said the assessment could help Bello and the county measure the ways that it can be more equitable, inclusive and diverse.
Bello said that he wanted the report released publicly because he wanted to be held accountable for the recommendations. He said the report and those who put ittogether exceeded his expectations.
“You know, one thing that just struck me was that nobody said no. Everyone came to the table and started coming out and asking to be a part of the process,” said Bello.
A few of the other recommendations include creating a Monroe County Land Bank to address zombie homes, holding more town hall discussions and creating a group that represents the arts community in Monroe County. The hope is that the group could provide guidance on arts funding.
The full report is below: