Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Duffy Popular With the Blissfully Ignorant

First, I'd like to apologize for the lull in posts. I've been very busy with personal matters which did not allow me the time to write. And now on to the incendiary post of the day...

The Rochester Business Journal recently ran a poll to gauge the public's opinion on Mayor Duffy's first year in office. Incredibly, the poll showed that 91% of respondents approved of his job so far. Are nine out of ten people in this area that dumb? No, just nine out of ten who happen to read the RBJ. I happily am among the one out of ten RBJ readers that see the glaring ineptness of this administration. Not that the RBJ readership should be seen as a reliable cross-section of Monroe County, let alone the City of Rochester. Like the folks who contributed to Duffy's campaign, most RBJ readers are wealthy white suburbanites. To them, having a malleable, aloof white man in the office of Mayor is far better than an educated, opinionated black man.

The fact is, Duffy has zero to show for his first year in office. Even his well-heeled supporters can't come up with a single thing to show as proof of his great work. Just look at the comments from the RBJ poll. There are heapings of praise for Mayor Duffy, yet not a single comment pointed to something tangible that he has done. This one quote summed up how completely wrong Duffy is for Rochester:

Duffy is doing a tremendous job. He’s accomplished more for Rochester in less than a year than Mayor Johnson did during his entire term. Another Rudy Giuliani! —Tamara Finch, KPMG LLP

Well Tamara, what exactly has he done? Crime is up, jobs are down, the ferry is still at the Port, the Broad Street Tunnel and Aqueduct projects are going nowhere fast, there has been no progress on the Inner Loop, etc. Mayor Johnson, on the other hand, oversaw the successful development of the East End and the turnaround of High Falls from a derelict wasteland into a successful office and (to a lesser extent) entertainment destination. Crime decreased significantly, population loss slowed to a trickle, innovative programs were introduced, and Rochester and its Mayor were nationally heralded for its turnaround. And your reference to Giuliani? Give me a break! Giuliani was and remains a complete fool; on second thought, maybe you're dead-on with that analogy.

I admit, it's only been a year and it is unfair to base judgment of a Mayor's competence on such a short moment in time. Truthfully though, I fear what the next few years will bring. I am very bullish on Rochester's future, but I am not so blissfully ignorant as to have a high opinion of this man at this time. Some of these nutjobs are even calling for Duffy to run for County Executive!?!!?!? Hopefully, Mayor Duffy will prove me wrong. But the only way he can do that is by appointing me to his inner circle. Somehow I don't see that happening anytime soon.