(Ted Denton (R) and Dick Roe (D) are vying to be the next mayor of Rochester. Denton was one of three in the GOP primary last May and responded to questions by the Sentinel at that time. That Q and A will be found here. Roe was unopposed in the primary, thus, the Sentinel did not have him participate in the Q and A at that time. – Admin.)
WHAT SAY YOU, MR. CANDIDATE?
The Rochester Sentinel
Rochester mayoral hopefuls respond to Sentinel questions
This is The Sentinel’s first group of What Say You Mr. Candidate questions.
We’ll pose more between now and Nov. 3. Candidate responses will be printed exactly as submitted.
Have a question for Rochester mayor candidates? If so pass it along to Sentinel Editor W.S. Wilson, 118 E. Eighth St., Rochester, firstname.lastname@example.org or 224-5329.
1 – What do you propose to do about the intersection of Ninth and Main streets?
2 – Is construction of sidewalks along 18th Street on your agenda?
3 – Do you anticipate new bicycle lanes in the city? If so, where?
4 – Are you satisfied with the quality and number of street signs in Rochester?
5 – Do you consider our city parks safe after dark?
1. As stated previously in the Sentinel, during the primary, the issue of 9th and Main would be at the top of my list for resolution as it is a huge blight on our downtown creating a very unfavorable impression to citizens, visitors to our community, and any potential investors.
I would meet separately with all parties involved starting with Mr. Toby Seiler. I would collect information from all. Then bring the parties together for a discussion. I would be able to serve as an impartial facilitator because I would have had no past dealings with the issues.
The process would be similar to steps taken to resolve grievance issues in a Union setting or the conflict resolution process in a non-union setting. Both, I have had years of experience with. The goal would be to keep the process positive and always centered on the problem NOT the people with a direction of negotiated resolution. The process would continue until an agreement was reached.
Depending on who the controlling parties of the property end up being after the resolution, another set of meetings would be held to decide on a final outcome for the development of the property. I stop at explaining in any greater detail as it could negatively affect the resolution process.
2. I lived on Manchester Drive along 18th street for a couple of years and know firsthand the need for a sidewalk. The foot traffic is great, especially the number of young mothers pushing babies in strollers on their way to the grocery store. Add the fact that the large truck traffic has increased in the past couple of years, plus more regular traffic and it makes walking in the street a very dangerous event. Yes, it would be a priority. An investigation as to what it would take to make this happen would be initiated immediately. An answer of “it can’t be done” will not be accepted rather the question “what will it take to make it happen?” will be put on the table not only for city personnel but any utilities who would be involved. Then a plan could be put together to attain what would be necessary to move forward to completion.
3. Bicycling continues to be very popular and I agree that we need to continue to look at how to expand access to local businesses by bicycle. The Nickel Plate Trail has provided an access from our South by bicycle and we would be remiss in not capitalizing on this to promote traffic coming into Rochester. The Mayor’s office will work with all parties to promote, showcase and improve accessibility to our local downtown areas not only by bicycle but since the State has passed legislature (sic) to allow for golf cart travel on our streets it is time to review that issue also.
4. Street signage? To be honest this issue would not be a high priority unless specific instances are brought forth concerning a need for an upgrade or addition of signage for safety and convenience sake.
We have more pressing infrastructure issues that will consume many of our resources such as storm and regular sewer issues, street and curb repair, paving, water issues (freezing mains in the winter, pressure issues, etc.) and I’m sure others that will be discovered. All infrastructure issues would be identified and prioritized with input from city department heads and personnel. After that a short term and long term plan can be put into place that will include a budgeting plan for completion of the projects.
5. This is another area that fits into the category of they certainly should be. We have purchased cameras, bicycles for police and stepped up patrols in an effort to make them safer. I would review this issue with the Chief of Police and Park Board as well as City Council and Board of Works to discuss specific problems and what need be done to improve on the safety of our parks. This is not Chicago or Detroit but we have certainly had a change over the years in regards to the amount of drug use, violence and property damage occurring in our small towns. Now more than ever, we need programs like “Neighborhood Watch” and I would be pursuing programs of this nature to complement our law enforcement effort and become more “proactive” in not only improving the safety of our parks but all of our neighborhoods. After all, we are in this together.
1. I have talked to Mr. Seiler several times and also met with him at 9th and Main St. trying to find a solution for that area. Also, I have presented a challenge to some of the people to help solve this problem. This needs to go away and we need to work together to get that to happen.
2. Yes. Normally when affordable housing is built, like that on 18th St. the city is responsible for sidewalks as their portion of the grant. This didn’t happen on 18th Street or Southway. This needs to be addressed for public safety.
3. Yes there is a need for new bicycle lanes but this is a process that needs to be followed to make sure proper guidelines are followed including input from local cyclists.
4. Probably no. There are guidelines on the proper implementation of street signs in cities. Signs are constantly needing replaced and repaired so quality and number changes from day to day.
5. No. There should be limited lighting from dusk to dawn. Park cameras can’t record in darkness. Also, increased 24 hour police patrolling of the parks to keep down vandalism.