Most respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll give Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy good marks for his first term in office.
Duffy, who took office in January 2006, faced no competition on the ballot this week as he sought election to a second four-year term.
Some 41 percent of readers gave him the top grade of A, while 34 percent gave him a B. By contrast, only 4 percent gave Duffy a failing grade.
Readers also voiced their opinions on what Duffy’s second-term priorities should be.
"Economic development, crime (and the) city’s appearance," wrote poll respondent Bill Murphy of the University of Rochester.
Respondent Jeanie Bayer said the city’s biggest problem is violence. "The mayor should work with the Police Department and any other organizations to help make our city safe and to stop all of these senseless murders and crimes," she wrote.
Roughly 690 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Nov. 2 and 3.
How would you grade Mayor Robert Duffy’s overall performance in his first term?
COMMENTS ON MAYOR DUFFY’S SECOND-TERM PRIORITIES:
I believe the mayor and his team should continue their great work on developing downtown. A thriving downtown will create jobs, attract visitors, reduce crime and encourage investment in our community.
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Mayor Duffy is great at talking but not so great at doing.
The crime and uncivilized behavior in Rochester will continue to obviate the success of attempts to revitalize the city-and Mayor Duffy needs to put crime-fighting initiatives at the forefront of his agenda. He needs to garner the full support of those who wrongfully oppose efforts to clean up gang mentality and valueless attitudes. There is no such thing as an individual right to behave criminally. If Rochester and many other center cities are ever again to become viable, the perception of value-creating visitors, businesses and people in general must be changed from places of potential danger to places of comfort. Otherwise the "Irondequoit Mall syndrome" will continue to grow and decline is inevitable.
Strategically rejuvenate downtown, which would bring in jobs (before, during and after) and new businesses and an influx of local citizens and visiting tourists resulting in increased revenue and greater safety.
-Jean Berry, University of Rochester
I believe that the Honorable Mayor Robert Duffy has a talented team of department heads in place to keep our great city moving forward with policies and events that will make us the envy of New York State. Our city can be very proud to have a respected and very concerned Robert Duffy as our mayor, who has already made a big difference in our community. We thank you, Mayor Duffy!
The top priority for Mayor Duffy should continue to be crime prevention in all its facets. In addition to better use of our community and police assets to disrupt and eliminate gang activity, economic development with market-rate residential construction, education and mentoring of city youth as well as city job development must be seen as ingredients to prevent crime in the city of Rochester. Once the city is seen as a safer environment, its prosperity and growth will follow.
-Michael L. Harf, president, EMCO Commercial Flooring Inc.
His top priority should be crime, with the revitalization of downtown a close second. Mayor Duffy has clearly shown that he has a passion for Rochester and to make it better. Not all of his views are 100 percent accepted by everyone, but his views are well supported and seem unconnected to any special interest groups. I feel that his No. 1 priority is making Rochester a better place.
He is an outstanding example of what mayors should be like. He selected outstanding people to be his department heads, he listens to them, he is non-partisan in his decisions, he keeps his emotions in check, no scandals, and is a quality person.
Revitalize downtown. Remove barriers that hinder existing businesses from thriving downtown and do everything possible (being fiscally responsible) to entice new businesses to downtown.
Holding tightly to the reins when others in his government want to spend on stupid things like a fast ferry or a new bus station or a theater downtown. … Yes, we want to have a vibrant downtown, but none of these projects are going to encourage people downtown. Hold on to the money, Mayor Duffy!
The top priority should be to address constantly the vicious cycle of drugs, crime, poverty, welfare and, most important, the failure to raise the next generation in such a way as to be able to get out of that cycle.
-Don Adair, Adair Law Firm
Develop incentives that will encourage small businesses to consider downtown an option. More on-street city parking is critical. Improve relations with the Rochester Police Department and get serious about fighting crime.
-Wes Plant, Thomson Reuter
11/6/09 (c) 2009 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail email@example.com.