"I do have such a strong desire to civic duty."
That desire drives Mary Joyce D'Aurizio as she seeks re-election to her post as Irondequoit Town Supervisor.
"I'm here for their neighborly disputes. The issues that we face," said D'Aurizio, R-Irondequoit.
D'Aurizio is a former school teacher, school administrator, accountant and financial analyst. She says what matters most is her desire to keep momentum rolling in the town.
The Republican points to progress made during her tenure. A proposed new town library. New businesses and construction along places like East Ridge Road, and the I-Square project off Titus Avenue.
"There are things I still want to accomplish that I feel are in the best interest of the town."
D'Aurizio faces a challenge.
"In terms of the campaign, I love it. I love politics. I love talking to people," said Adam Bello, D.
Bello is 33, a husband and father of two.
"I love Irondequoit. I've lived their my whole life and it's where I've chosen to raise my family."
Bello is no stranger to politics. He's run campaigns, worked in constituent services for Assemblyman Joe Morelle, and currently oversees a $14 million budget as Chief Administrator in the Monroe County District Attorney's office.
"I bring a different type of leadership to the table. Irondequoit's at a crossroads. We have a lot of challenges and a lot of opportunities coming to town."
Irondequoit's most visible challenge is the nearly empty Medley Centre. The former Irondequoit Mall is owned by a Syracuse developer who in 2009 received a hefty tax break package.
D'Aurizio says she's frustrated with the PILOT agreement, signed off on by a previous administration, but she says even though developer Scott Congel failed to meet a critical benchmark – proof that he's invested $165 million in the project – the town's hands are somewhat tied. The developer's next PILOT payments are due to the parties involved, including the town, in January.
"For us to do anything between now and then would open up the town, county and school district up to very expensive litigation. Litigation that we would not win," said D'Aurizio.
Bello sums up Medley Centre this way: "Missed opportunity, really."
He faults the current administration for not doing more to force Congel to live up to his end of the deal.
"Leadership is about standing up and holding people accountable for their commitments, and I just don't think that's happening," Bello said.
Prior to becoming town supervisor, D'Aurizio had never held an elected position. She's now ending her second term as supervisor. Bello, too, is seeking his first term in an elected position.
"At the end of the day, it's really about families, and building a brighter future for people," said Bello.
"We have made great strides," D'Aurizio said.
D'Aurizio too, looks to the future. Her recent past has been filled with dark moments. Last year this time, she was grieving the loss of both her son and her brother, all while battling cancer.
She hopes her work in town government is far from finished.
"We have 52,000 residents. A vital community that wants to see this town be the diamond it can be."
Fair Election Practices Committee Rulings
The committee found two pledge violations in a campaign mailer promoting Mary Joyce D'Aurizio against her opponent, Adam Bello. The committee says D'Aurizio should repudiate the mailer should. The committee did say however there is no evidence of her approval of the mailer.
The committee also issued a ruling on a complaint in the race for Rush Town Council between Dave Sluberski, Rita McCarthy and Cathleen Frank. They found one violation in a mailer that states "Re-elect" Cathleen Frank. The committee ruled the statement inaccurate as she hadn't previously been elected to the position. They say it will remain a continuing violation unless withdrawn or modified.