MONROE COUNTY, N.Y. -- Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks called it a case of reckless political hostage-taking. Democrats who voted down the last round of capital bonding for a new downtown MCC campus, while they don't consider it reckless, also don't entirely disagree with the statement. Our own Seth Voorhees explains.
At the Monroe County office building, there are two offices right next to each other. But politically, Monroe County Legislature Republicans, and Democrats are worlds apart.
The latest example, one of many, Tuesday night's vote on bonding for a new downtown campus for MCC. 20 votes were needed to pass it. Nineteen Republicans voted yes while all ten Democrats voted no.
They have an opportunity to put hundreds of millions of dollars into their own districts and yet they deny themselves of that,” said Republican majority Steve Tucciarello. “That to me is just disingenuous."
Majority leader Steve Tucciarello said the "no" vote delays the project, and the jobs that would be created by turning a portion of the Kodak Headquarters into classrooms.
"They are basically hostage taking," Tucciarello said.
Legislator Paul Haney said it's not that Democrats don't support the MCC project. They do. They said that they have no choice but to use the vote as leverage, to try and gain some sort of oversight, of the ongoing investigation into a scandal involving some of the county's Local Development Corporations.
This is serious business, and we are convinced we need the legislature to be investigating the situation," Haney said.
The downtown MCC Campus currently takes up the fourth and fifth floors of the Sibley Building.
Student government representative John Campbell supports the move to Kodak. He said students should remember this come election time.
"Why is there so much political posturing? Why are we stuck in the middle of a battle between politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, when our education hangs in the balance? And that's the bottom line," Campbell said.
Tuesday's vote does not kill the MCC bonding, but it certainly puts up a roadblock.