Monday, January 30, 2006

Duffy Not a Risk-Taker? Think Again...

I've had the pleasure of reading some op-ed pieces by suburban Messenger-Post columnists Benjamin Wachs and Curt Smith this past week. Both of these gentlemen asserted that, by his decision to stop the ferry service, Mayor Duffy has already proven himself to be scared of taking risks. While the merits of the ferry service and Duffy's decision can be debated ad-nauseum with little resolution, I do take exception with their characterization of Duffy as a "risk-avoider".

How quickly people forget the risks to public safety that then-Chief Duffy took in order to consolidate the Rochester Police Department into two precincts. Closing neighborhood police stations and cutting foot patrols -- talk about risky business! But the risk worked out for him (he received quite a promotion thanks to the voters of the City of Rochester) and for the City budget (Monroe County now foots the bill for Downtown police patrols). With the City's crime rate up (54 homicides in 2005, not too shabby!), the only losers in Duffy's past experiment with risk-taking are we the citizens of Rochester, where many of us can now take risks of our own walking our streets at night.