Monroe County Legislature


Pharmacies in Monroe County would be required to inform prescription opioid patients that the opioid overdose antidote drug naloxone is available to them, under a measure adopted Tuesday by the county Legislature.

Naloxone, which is commonly sold under the brand name Narcan, is already available to prescription opioid patients at a heavily discounted rate through the state Naloxone Co-payment Assistance Program, which covers up to $40 of the cost of a co-payment, making the drug free for most insured people.

But it is unclear how many patients are aware of the program.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

The recently reactivated Rochester branch of the NAACP has replaced beleaguered Monroe County Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell as its new president.

Flagler-Mitchell was installed as the chapter president in a ceremony on Jan. 16, about two hours before news broke that he had been accused of sexual harassment by sending a sexually explicit photo, and other suggestive text messages, to a 19-year-old woman.

Gino Fanelli / CITY

Monroe County restaurants would not have to pay the county’s food service establishment fee in 2021 if a budget amendment proposed by the Monroe County Legislature’s Republican Majority passes.

At a news conference Thursday, Legislature President Joe Carbone and Majority Leader Steve Brew said waiving the fees would provide critical aid to restaurants that were dealt a financial blow by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The food service industry has been the most impacted by COVID-19, and unfair government service fees are exasperating this problem,” Carbone said.

Democrats call for outside probe of Flagler-Mitchell

Jan 19, 2021
file photo / CITY

Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature are calling for an independent investigation into the circumstance that led one of their own, Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell, to send a sexually explicit photo to a 19-year-old woman.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

A Monroe County legislator says he’s being extorted because of a personal photo he accidentally sent to the wrong person.

The revelation came from Ernest Flagler-Mitchell (D-29), who leads the Black and Asian Caucus on the county legislature.

In a statement Flagler-Mitchell released on Saturday, he says that last November, he sent a photo intended for his wife to someone he was working with. The lawmaker says he apologized to the person who inadvertently got it. He says that individual accepted his apology and assured Flagler-Mitchell they were not offended.

For the first time in years, the Monroe County Legislature engaged in a heated debate over the budget, with the county executive criticizing some members of his own party. The budget passed and survived a veto, with some Democrats joining with Republicans to override.

Now the Democratic leadership is alleging that the legislature is wasting tax dollars on a so-called "slush fund," all to allow incumbents to pass out cash during an election year. Our guests discuss the budget and the sources of disagreement:

Legislators override Bello's budget vetoes

Dec 10, 2020
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello/Facebook

The Monroe County Legislature on Thursday hastily voted to override vetoes issued earlier in the day by County Executive Adam Bello on two last-minute amendments to the $1.2 billion county budget.

The override, which was conducted within 15 minutes of a special meeting of the Legislature being called, was not unexpected.

In a 20-9 vote, Monroe County legislators approved an amendment to the 2021 budget that would create a $2.5 million “community contingency fund” over which they would have almost total discretion.

The nine legislators that voted against the amendment, all of them Democrats, argued that the change would amount to an election year slush fund. All 29 seats in the county Legislature are on the ballot in 2021.

File photo

Decades of one-party government has put Monroe County out of step with the typical choreography of crafting a county budget in New York.

The process in most large counties resembles a ritualized dance: The executive unveils a vision, and then the legislative and executive branches sway back and forth to whittle down the spending plan to a document both sides can accept.

But the Monroe County Legislature has been little more than a rubber stamp when it comes to approving the budget, forcing few if any amendments to the executive’s spending plan in most years.

CITY file photo

Much like many restaurants amid the pandemic, Kainos Restaurant owner Jeff Scott has been taking a beating. For months, dine-in service wasn’t an option but he was able to offer take-out through third-party delivery services like Grubhub and Uber Eats.

But the fees those services charged him were so steep — sometimes as high as 30 percent of the bill — that delivery sales ended up costing him money. Faced with what he saw as an overwhelming burden, Scott severed ties with Grubhub and Uber Eats, bought a van, and began making deliveries himself.