2014 is drawing to a close, and it is time to assess Rochester mayor Lovely Warren and her administration.
She and they have been an unmitigated disaster for Rochester.
From the moment Ms. Warren won election as mayor in November, 2013 she made it clear that it was HER show and that she would do and say whatever she liked.
She immediately claimed credit for any developments that were already underway in Rochester. Ms. Warren was also incapable of telling the truth about anything else.
Lying is a normal enough behavior among politicians. Lovely Warren raised blatant lying to a whole new level. This ranged from Uncle Reggie's dangerous speeding to the supposed hacking of her Facebook page.
When confronted about this last January by none other than news reporter Rachel Barnhart, Ms. Warren imperiously replied "I am the mayor."
That is true enough. Lovely Warren IS the mayor, but nobody died and made her queen. She is unaware of that.
Her administration resembles the White House of Richard Nixon: neurotic, easily offended and with a "me against them" attitude that has continued unchecked.
Her appointees resemble Nixon's "Palace Guard," keeping her insulated and isolated from reality, continually reassuring her of her popularity and the "rightness" of her actions. There is a conspiracy against them, but they can never say who is doing it.
This has done the mayor no favors, and everyone refuses to tell her the truth for fear of losing their six-figure jobs.
Chief among these staffers is the personal assistant to the mayor, Tracey Miller.
Ms. Miller is the wife of Judge Stephen Miller. She was also the mayor's legislative assistant while Ms. Warren was on City Council.
Ms. Miller controls all access to the mayor, making her the most powerful person in Rochester city government after the mayor. Ms. Miller prefers to limit contact with the mayor to people she likes, unless the mayor chooses otherwise
That she has assumed such power is odd, because Ms. Miller has absolutely no knowledge of city politics beyond the black community and black ministers, nor had she been in charge of other staff people before. She has no real people skills, but is apt at manipulating the staff.
She has made herself feared among the mayor's appointees, and an order from Ms. Miller should be taken as an order from the mayor herself.
But this behaviour has been typical of the mayor's office since her taking over last January.
Cronyism is another charge against the mayor. All politicians do it, but Lovely Warren has turned it into a new art form, reviving positions that were long dormant, creating new ones and requiring an armed bodyguard ( Uncle Reggie ) to drive her all over town raised quite a stink. But stacking the deck at the Rochester Housing Authority with political friends so that another buddy might lead that organization was seen as way too much, especially since it was seen as black racism directed against the Hispanic community.
When Lovely Warren spoke of "two Rochesters," she meant it. Not of the "haves" and "have nots," but of the black community against everyone else. Rather than build bridges between them to achieve some sense of impending equality, she has put up barricades. If it seems that she favors the black community above all else, well, they are her primary base of support.
Her statement about the Ferguson trial, a situation that required delicate handling at best, was hers and hers alone, and it was disastrous. After the murder of Officer Pierson in the line of duty here last summer, it revealed her primary concern is not all of Rochester. The mayor should be building on a broader base than just the black community.
But she chooses not to.
And so it goes on.
The Warren Administration has been given to outright lying, of explicit underserved favoritism, of taking credit where none is due.
Even "Clergy on Patrol" has been limited to the black faith community, more or less.
The black community in Rochester is 40% of the population. Since the mayor has exhausted a lot of goodwill from the remaining 60%, and refused to build bridges with them for the benefit of all of Rochester, to preserve her power she must favor what she has left.
David Gantt is much gratified. He trained her.