Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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Rochester

Richards Begins Transition After Election Win

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Rochester: Richards Begins Transition After Election Win
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Rochester's new mayor is beginning the transition process. Tom Richards made his first trip to City Hall Wednesday afternoon, one day after winning a special election.

It's not exactly a new office. Tom Richards held it for a few weeks at the beginning of the year.

"I'm lucky here because I'm coming into a group of people I already know," said Richards. "I've worked with them for five years. I have confidence in them."

One of those people is current Acting Mayor Carlos Carballada. Richards met with him to begin mapping out a transition plan and early priorities for Richards' term.

"I need to start getting serious about working on this budget," said Richards. "He's already done a lot of work on it I know but I'm not familiar with the details of that and I'm going to get familiar with them."

Richards won a special election Tuesday that saw an impressive 26 percent turnout.

"Turnout actually was very good," said Democratic Election Commissioner Tom Ferrarese. "Very happy about that."

Looking at the map Bill Johnson won the center part of the city while Richards carried outer legislative districts, but Johnson's win margins were smaller than Richards'.

"It was close," said Ferrarese. "It was a clear winner, there's no question about that. And you gotta think about it: Bill Johnson was a former mayor, 12 years, three terms, so well know in the community."

Richards may be meeting at City Hall but he's not the mayor yet, instead waiting for the election results to become official.

"Fortunately we can do that," said Richards. "Carlos is in place, he's been doing it, we've worked together for quite a while now. There's really no reason why we need to rush that particular issue."

The Board of Elections expects that to happen on Monday, April 11. Between now and then Richards says there's plenty he can do as mayor-elect.

"Governing is about bringing people together, that's what governing's about," said Richards. "It's the opposite of campaigns, so we obviously have an obligation to bring people together here."

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