Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature

Republicans Block Children's Detention Center, Jeopardize Costco Project

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Rochester, New York — December 20, 2013.  Republicans in the County Legislature, during an early morning meeting called with less than 24 hours’ notice, voted against passing the Children’s Detention Center project as part of the 2013 Capital Budget and then proceeded to table a bonding resolution that could have been passed and immediately authorized funding for only that project.

Yesterday County Executive Brooks and Republicans tried to order work to stop at the new Children’s Detention Center in Rush, unbeknownst to the public or Democratic Legislators. The state had already begun work at the site, which is able to house the children effective immediately. Nonetheless, the County Executive has decided that neither the Children’s Detention Center nor the MCC downtown campus will proceed. 

The MCC project has already begun, with the purchase of the building having been completed for approximately $3 million. When that purchase was made a substantial amount of the project’s funding had not yet been approved. In fact, the state funding still has not been approved.

“It’s contradictory and illogical for the County Executive to say she won’t proceed with these projects until all the funding is in place,” Democratic Leader Carrie Andrews said. “The fact is that even if the Capital Budget bonding resolutions had passed, all the state funding for the MCC campus would not be in place, so the Executive’s claims are clearly false. The only reason these projects will be halted is that the Republicans want to manufacture a crisis to further their goal of shielding the County Executive from scrutiny regarding the internal review of her own actions related to LDCs.”

“Republican legislators had a chance to vote this morning to approve bonding solely for the Children’s Detention Center, but they instead chose to table the resolution. This clearly demonstrates that they are only out to score political points at the expense of the well-being of the children in our care and the jobs to be created at the Costco site. They should be ashamed,” Andrews added.

Republicans also backed off their previous claims that former lobbyist and Republican elected official Dennis Vacco is performing a ‘joint investigation’ with the current Attorney General. They do acknowledge that Mr. Vacco is performing an internal review and that he reports to the County Executive, which is the basis of Democratic concerns.