Public safety labor leaders held a joint press conference Friday to announce their official endorsement of Adam Bello in the 2019 race for Monroe County Executive. Leaders from the Rochester Airport Firefighters Association, Monroe County Sheriff Police Benevolent Association (PBA), Monroe County Deputy Sheriffs Association (DSA), and Monroe County Law Enforcement Association (MCLEA) all spoke about the legacy of disrespect toward employees from County management and the dire need for change. Several retired Sheriff's and Firefighters were also in attendance to show their support.
Jointly, we feel that Adam Bello possesses the leadership and integrity that have been missing at the County Executive position for many years. In talking with public safety employees in the Town of Irondequoit - where he previously served as Town Supervisor - he was able to create an environment where employees felt appreciated beyond an occasional tweet. Those we spoke with commented on his upbeat personality, willingness to talk with them, and understanding of the important role law enforcement and firefighters play in the overall health of a community. As County Clerk, he has discovered several improprieties and taken steps to correct them.
In accepting these endorsements, Adam spoke to the importance of public safety, calling it the “cornerstone upon which we need to build if we are going to tackle the challenges that face our community.” He also stated his intent to work with both employees and retirees by honoring commitments, respecting our sacrifices, and acknowledging us as allies - not adversaries.
As for his opponent, we all heard the rhetoric from incumbent Cheryl Dinolfo in 2015 but have not seen the change she promised. While she touts the settling of our long-expired contracts, we might still be at the negotiating table if not for the election of a new Sheriff. It was more than one year into her term before the County even began negotiating with our members again. Within two months of Sheriff Baxter being sworn in, we had a tentative settlement agreement that was very similar to what our negotiating team had proposed several years earlier. The units representing the Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies reached agreements in similar fashion, but only after the long-term incumbent Sheriff suffered a resounding defeat in every district.
Mrs. Dinolfo speaks of her appreciation for public safety professionals yet refuses to meet with any of our respective associations despite repeated requests. Similarly, while preparing to endorse a candidate for Monroe County Executive, our association reached out to her several times through multiple channels and never even received a response. We feel her actions are not those of a leader, and we know Monroe County residents deserve better!
Together, our four associations represent hundreds of dedicated Deputy Sheriff’s and Firefighters, covering nearly every public safety professional employed by Monroe County. A vast majority of our members have strong conservative beliefs, and many are - or were - registered Republicans. After three years under Cheryl Dinolfo, we have seen no improvement in the County’s actions toward our members, and in some cases things have actually gotten worse.
The dedicated men and women who are willing to risk their lives - on the streets, in the jails, in the courts, at the airport and beyond - deserve better. Our families deserve better, and the citizens of Monroe County most certainly deserve better! We hope you will join us in supporting Adam Bello for Monroe County Executive.
The Rochester Airport Firefighters Association represents the Fire Captains and Firefighters that protect the Greater Rochester International Airport and surrounding community. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
The Monroe County Sheriff Police Benevolent Association represents the men and women of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Police Bureau. Follow the PBA on Facebook.
The Monroe County Law Enforcement Association represents the men and women of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Court Security Bureau.