Media and Press Coverage
Media and Press Coverage

Town of Canandaigua Republican Committee Endorses Ontario County Candidates

Mar 15, 2018

The Town of Canandaigua Republican Committee is pleased to announce that it has voted to endorse Silvio Palermo (R) for the office of Ontario County Sheriff. The committee’s decision was based on thorough candidate interviews, and the committee expresses its gratitude to all of the candidates it interviewed. The office of Ontario County Sheriff is an elected position that carries a four year term.

County Court
The Town of Canandaigua Republican Committee is pleased to announce that it has voted to endorse Kristina “Kitty” Karle (R) for the office of Ontario County Court Judge. The committee’s decision was based on thorough candidate interviews, and the committee expresses its gratitude to all of the candidates it interviewed. The office of Ontario County Court Judge is an elected position that carries a ten year term.

The Primary Election will be held on Thursday September 13th, and the General Election will be held on Tuesday November 6th.

He's in: Marc Molinaro seeking GOP nod to challenge Cuomo for NY governor

Marc Molinaro

Robert Harding
Posted Mar 3, 2018 Updated Mar 3, 2018

Nearly two months after opting not to enter the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro told a group of GOP chairs Friday that he is running for governor.

Molinaro declared his candidacy at an event in Saratoga Springs. Republican leaders gathered there to nominate Chele Farley to challenge U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

A formal announcement hasn't been made by Molinaro's campaign, but Onondaga County Republican Chairman Tom Dadey confirmed the Dutchess County executive and former state assemblyman is in the race.

"He came into the room and announced 'I am a candidate for governor'," Dadey said in a phone interview after Friday's convention.

With Molinaro's entry, there are now three Republicans in the field. The others are state Sen. John DeFrancisco and attorney Joe Holland.

A straw poll was held at the GOP convention. Molinaro won with 55 votes. DeFrancisco, R-DeWitt, finished second with 23 votes. Holland received five votes.

However, Dadey noted that several counties did not have representation at the convention. He said some of the larger counties weren't present for the convention or the straw poll.

There are more than 450 people on the state GOP committee and there were 83 votes cast in the straw poll, which means that less 20 percent of the party's leadership cast votes.

Molinaro's entry could shake up a race for the Republican nomination that appeared to be DeFrancisco's to lose.

Harry Wilson, a corporate restructuring expert who pledged to spend $10 million of his own money if he ran for governor, declined to run. Days after Wilson's announcement, Molinaro said he wouldn't be a candidate for governor.

At the time, Molinaro cited personal reasons for the decision.

With Molinaro and Wilson out of the race, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb appeared to have the inside track to the nomination. He was securing endorsements after declaring his candidacy in December. But he abruptly dropped out the race in February.

After Kolb's departure, DeFrancisco announced several endorsements from Republican and Conservative party leaders. But some Republicans weren't satisfied and wanted an alternative.

A "Draft Molinaro" campaign started to urge the Dutchess County Republican to reconsider his decision. He acknowledged that he was giving the race another look.

And then came his announcement on Friday to a room of Republican leaders that he was declaring his candidacy for governor.

The Republican convention will be held in May. That's when GOP committee members will choose a candidate for challenge Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. If a primary is necessary, it will be held in September.

Link to the story on He's in: Marc Molinaro seeking GOP nod to challenge Cuomo for NY governor

Marcus Molinaro has GOP leader's backing for governor

Marc Molinaro
By: Kirstan Conley and Carl Campanile
Posted March 2, 2018 | 1:29pm | Updated

Republican leaders from across the state selected Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro as their choice to run for governor in a straw poll Friday.

During a party meeting in Saratoga, Molinaro won 55 of the 83 votes cast, with 23 for Syracuse state Sen. John De Francisco, and five for former state housing commissioner Joe Holland.

Molinaro’s strong showing was a blow to De Francisco, who has been crossing the state after announcing his candidacy weeks earlier.

A key Long Island Republican leader was among those who endorsed Molinaro.

Suffolk County GOP Chairman John Lavalle said Molinaro informed him Friday morning that he’s throwing his hat into the race and pledged to back him.

“Marc is going to run. I’m going to support him,” Lavalle told The Post.

Molinaro showed up at the GOP meeting but did not formally announce his candidacy, though he made it clear to Republican leaders that he’s running — and also landed the backing of the GOP leaders in Erie and Monroe counties.

Molinaro has floated his candidacy for governor before, only to pull out. But this time insiders said he intends to run in the GOP primary that will produce the nominee to take on Gov. Cuomo.

Lavalle said he has a lot of respect for DeFrancisco, but argued that his 25-year legislative voting record poses a problem, particularly voting for Cuomo-dominated state budgets.

Cuomo is seeking his third term, which would match the tenure of his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo.

Lavalle cited corruption scandals and New York’s lagging economic indicators as reasons Cuomo has to go.

“Cuomo is all about the show and running for president instead of helping New York,” he said.

Molinaro, 42, was elected Dutchess County executive in 2011. He was first elected to public office at the age of 18 in 1994, serving on the Village of Tivoli Board of Trustees. He was then elected the youngest mayor in the United States in 1995.

Link to the story on Marcus Molinaro has GOP leader's backing for governor

Our view: Westbrook has earned your vote

Greg Westbrook

Posted Nov 5, 2017 at 10:21 AM

Even amid a contested election, there are several concepts residents of the town of Canandaigua can agree upon.

For instance, the importance of government transparency. Without an open dialogue between our elected leaders and the constituents they represent, sustainable progress is difficult to achieve, impossible to measure.

Without a predictable tax rate that balances stewardship with restraint, residents and families cannot thrive and, in turn, contribute fully toward their town's advancement.

And without proactive efforts to safeguard our natural resources - particularly Canandaigua Lake - not only would present and future livelihoods suffer, but the very magic that draws us here would be forever diminished.

These are important concepts to weigh as voters Tuesday head to the polls to elect a new town supervisor - either the current incumbent and successful businessman, Greg Westbrook, or the former longtime supervisor, public servant and affable farmer, Sam Casella.

Both men bring strong credentials to the ballot - Westbrook a strong vision for efficient, responsive government; Casella a commitment to protecting the ideals that have made his lifelong home so special.

But voters also need to ask whether the direction of their current government is pointed toward enforcing the concepts idealized earlier or toward eroding them. That the town of Canandaigua has prioritized resident engagement, with its Citizens Implementation Committee of 60-plus community volunteers; and fiscal responsibility, with a lower tax rate in 2017 and flat rate in '18; and environmental preservation, by encouraging conservation efforts and water quality projects, is proof the town is pointed toward the best future path.

And for this reason, we encourage you to elect the current supervisor, the man setting the tone for town progress - Greg Westbrook.

Both Westbrook and Casella addressed the Daily Messenger Editorial Board in advance of our endorsement, with videos of both appearances appearing on our Facebook page.

Whereas Casella spoke admiringly of past accomplishments during his two stints at the Canandaigua helm, we were most moved by Westbrook's vision and plan for Canandaigua's future - and his desire to empower residents in achieving tomorrow's successes.

Take, for instance, the town's Citizens Implementation Committee, which has been tasked with a host of wide-ranging activities, from enacting recommendations from the town comprehensive plan to preserving open space. In a day and age when organizations large and small are struggling to find volunteers, the town has more than 60 people working to make their community a better place to live, work and play. Credit to the volunteers, but town staff and elected officials - Westbrook, in particular - deserve kudos for creating an environment where people want to help, in droves.

Westbrook is focused on the future and has a realistic, regional approach to addressing potential concerns facing the town, including working to put in place agriculture protection programs and other methods of promoting economic development while maintaining the character that helps attract residents here in the first place.

The "One Canandaigua" concept of economic development, born from conversations with city officials in trying to find ways of sharing services to benefit taxpayers, brings home the reality that if the city of Canandaigua benefits from growth, the town does too, and vice versa.

Further, Westbrook has brought a businessman's approach to Town Hall, streamlining operations and introducing greater efficiencies to the operation - most visibly highlighted by his and the Town Board's hiring of a town manager who holds a master's degree in public administration, a person capable of handling not only the day-to-day affairs of town government but also long-term planning.

Voters on Tuesday will be presented two solid candidates, both of whom would be capable supervisors. We urge you, though, to select the candidate who has pointed the town in the right direction and set it upon its current path toward future successes and improvements. Vote for Greg Westbrook.

Link to the story on

Incumbent receives Democratic, Republican support in Canandaigua supervisor race

Bi-Partisan Support for Greg Westbrook

Posted Oct 17, 2017 at 2:21 PM

In a display of bipartisan support, the Town of Canandaigua Republican and Democratic Committees are both supporting incumbent Greg Westbrook in the upcoming election for Town of Canandaigua Supervisor.

"I'm honored and energized by the bipartisan support and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to build on the foundation established by former Town Supervisor Pam Helming," said Westbrook. When Helming was elected to the State Senate in 2016, Westbrook, who had been serving as deputy supervisor for three years, was appointed to the supervisor post.

He was endorsed by the Town of Canandaigua Republican Committee and then cross-endorsed by the Town of Canandaigua Democratic Committee.

Yvonne Chavez, Republican town chair, noted that Westbrook's "keen intellect and experience in business management has enabled well-informed and forward-looking goals, not only in the town, but also on the Ontario County Board of Supervisors. His cross-endorsement clearly demonstrates his dedication to making forward progress for the benefit of all town residents."

Vince Golbeck, chair of the town Democratic Committee, said Westbrook has proven that he is the candidate to continue leading the town in the right direction and that is why he was unanimously endorsed.

"He continues to provide strong progressive leadership to the Town Board by balancing the recruitment of businesses with the protection of Canandaigua Lake," said Golbeck. He is a champion of the idea that we are all part of one Canandaigua. He continually works to promote our area in keeping with our comprehensive plan."

Chavez said she has watched Westbrook's "notable skill and leadership" over the years at Town Board meetings. "The town has made amazing steps forward under his leadership and he has proven to be an extraordinarily effective advocate for the preservation of our lake and natural resources." she added.

Golbeck said the committee members admired the way that Westbrook engages all of the town residents regardless of their political affiliation.

"He is strategic in his planning while being transparent" Golbeck added. "He is a well-respected asset on the Ontario County Board of Supervisors who ensures that the town interests are heard."

Westbrook, who has been supervisor since 2016, is running for a full four-year term in the Nov. 7 election. He and his wife, Beth, have three grown children.

Link to the story on

State Sen. Helming calls for state of emergency for flooded areas of Lake Ontario shoreline

By Daily Messenger news partner, News 10NBC
Posted Apr 29, 2017 at 9:44 PM

State Sen. Pam Helming, R-Canandaigua, called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to issue a state of emergency for areas affected by flooding while she was in Sodus Point on Saturday.

Helming additionally called on municipal leaders from the communities affected by flooding on Lake Ontario to issue a state of emergency. She also asked the state Department of Environmental Conservation for help.

Helming visited the U.S. Coast Guard Station on Wickham Boulevard in Sodus Point.

During her talk the former Canandaigua supervisor noted that some manhole covers are underwater, and said that if the water gets any higher there is a risk of overflow at the lift station. If this happens, Helming warned of a risk of raw sewage seeping into Lake Ontario.

Helming also was expected to visit businesses and homes along the lake shoreline that have had to contend with “unprecedented flooding.”

Link to the story on

Pam Helming: Rural communities need high speed internet to thrive

NY State Senator Pam Helming

Guest Column - Pam Helming, Apr 28, 2017

Rural communities without meaningful access to broadband are at risk of falling behind their more populated counterparts. this digital divide continues in many of our rural communities and hinders job growth, slows e-commerce, and limits access to online education and health care - stunting population growth and holding back rural economies.  

According to a recent survey, Americans spend 506 minutes, more than eight hours, each day viewing and using a variety of media. Internet use accounts for more than 30 percent of that time. We increasingly rely on the internet for access to mews, shopping, connecting with friends and family, and searching for information.

... Link to the rest of the story on


NY State county map


New York has the worst economic outlook in the country, according to a new "Rich States, Poor States" report. 

This marks the fourth year in a row where the Empire State was 50th in the report's annual Economic Outlook Ranking. Since 2010, New York has only improved its ranking once to 49th in 2013.

Each year, the American Legislative Exchange Council produces an economic forecast for each state based on its current standing across 15 different policy variables. They also rank states from best to worst on their combined scores for these issues, including things like income and property tax levels.

When New Yorkers have the highest total tax burden in the country, it's no wonder policy experts have predicted a poor outlook for the state.

Check out how New York ranks across some of the ALEC's policy variables:

  • Corporate Income Tax Rate: 50
  • Personal Income Tax Rate: 49
  • Property Tax Burden: 44
  • State Minimum Wage: 42
  • Sales Tax Burden: 32
It is clear from these figures that New York isn't providing a secure future for its residents.

Along with an economic forecast, the report also includes a current Economic Performance Ranking, a measure based on a state's gross domestic product, absolute domestic migration and non-farm payroll employment.

New York was ranked 24th for this measure, which means our current state economic policy is middle-of-the-road at best.

This ranking was especially brought down by New York's 50th place finish for absolute domestic migration, meaning more people are leaving the state than are moving here.

Maybe it's because New Yorkers don't even need a report to tell them the Empire State can't provide them with a brighter future than too many other states.

Link to the story on

Political Roundup: Helming touts state funds for water at Seneca Lake

Press conference in Geneva praises passage of $2.5 billion for projects to protect water sources

By Julie Sherwood ... jsherwood@messengerpostmedia
Posted Apr 27, 2017 at 6:19 PM

The recently passed state budget includes $2.5 billion to fund water projects. On Thursday, in her first press conference since taking office in January, state Sen. Pam Helming, R-Canandaigua, touted the benefits of these dollars to the Finger Lakes.

“I realized early on during the budget process that we need to include funding to protect drinking water at its source,” Helming said before state and local officials and others concerned with watershed protection in the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Seneca Room on Main Street in Geneva. Behind Helming and other speakers, a panoramic view of Seneca Lake through a glass wall presented a reminder of what the region offers.

The Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 will provide funds for clean water projects that include repair and replacement of intermunicipal water infrastructure and a septic system rebate program. Helming said $110 million of the Clean Water funds will go to preserving sources of drinking water. Those funds will be used for voluntary conservation of small, strategic areas that directly impact drinking water sources such as lakes and watersheds. These buffers will protect against pollutants and provide natural filtration for water.

The Act will also provide farmers with financial help to comply with regulations meant to protect water sources from unintended farm runoff — a particular concern in the Finger Lakes with its slopes above lakes. 

Municipalities will have to apply for the funds, which will be distributed through a competitive grant process. 

“With the increase of harmful algal bloom events across the Finger Lakes, it is essential to take steps to protect the safety of our drinking water for our communities,” said Lisa Cleckner, director of the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She commended Helming, fellow legislators, and the governor for recognizing the importance of protecting and preserving clean water. 

Others who spoke about the significance of the Clean Water Infrastructure Act included Ann Marie Heizmann, president of the Seneca County Farm Bureau, and Assemblyman Bob Oaks, R-Macedon. Canandaigua Lake Watershed Program Manager Kevin Olvany also spoke, and several citizens involved in Canandaigua Lake’s watershed programs attended.

Olvany said funds will help wetland and floodplain projects that filter out nutrients, bacteria and sediment from stormwater runoff before these pollutants enter Canandaigua Lake. He added that restoring and improving the resiliency of the landscape to filter pollutants is the best way to reduce problems like blue-green algae. 

  Link to the story on

North Carolina-based Akoustis Technologies purchases Smart Systems Technology in Canandaigua.

By Mike Murphy
Posted Mar 24, 2017 at 6:45 PM

CANANDAIGUA - Details are scant at this point, but government officials from the town on up to the federal government are excited about the purchase of a Canandaigua company by a publicly traded North Carolina firm.

Akoustis Technologies is purchasing the Smart Systems Technology and Commercialization Center, or STC, from SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

A price has not been disclosed, but the company is committed to creating 200 additional jobs, according to Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua.

"This really is good news," Kolb said Friday during a Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce function.

According to its website, Akoustis, which was founded in 2014, manufactures acoustic wave filters to boost the efficiency of smartphones.

The 120,000-square-foot STC facility, which was formerly the infotonics site off Route 332 in the town, was created to position New York as a global leader in smart system and smart device innovation and manufacturing, according to its website.

State Sen. Pam Helming, R-Canandaigua, who was former town supervisor, said over the years the town has worked hard to ensure a shovel-ready site. The extra groundwork may have paid off.

It's very fulfilling," Helming said Friday.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, said in a statement Friday the company's investment in Canandaigua will create good- paying jobs upstate.

"This is a huge win for Canandaigua," Schumer said.

  Link to the story on

Media and Press Coverage

Sen. Pam Helming wants tougher penalties for sex offenders who fail to register

By Robert Harding, Jan 27, 2017

A bill sponsored by state Sen. Pam Helming would increase the penalty for sex offenders who fail to register or update their registration with the state.

Helming's bill, S3030, has been introduced in previous legislative sessions. The state Senate has passed the measure, but it hasn't been considered by the Assembly. 

According to the bill's justification, law enforcement agencies have found sex offenders are either failing to register or update their registrations. The current penalty for failing to register as a sex offender is a class A misdemeanor. 

Under Helming's legislation, the charge would be elevated to a class D felony. 

"With this increased penalty, the police agencies feel that the provisions of the Sex Offender Registration Act will be followed," the bill's justification reads. "This will help the general public to know the whereabouts of sex offenders in their area." 

The measure is one of the first sponsored by Helming, R-Canandaigua, since she was sworn in as the 54th Senate District's representative earlier this month. But it's not the only bill she's introduced targeting sex offenders. 

A separate bill she's sponsored would prohibit sex offenders from living within 1,350 feet of a school. The exception would be for New York City, where sex offenders would be banned from living within 500 feet of a school. 

Sex offenders who violate the proposed law would be charged with a class C felony.

Like the bill that would impose tougher penalties on sex offenders who fail to register, the measure banning sex offenders from living within a certain distance of schools has been introduced before. But it hasn't garnered enough support in the Assembly. 

Link to the story on

Media and Press Coverage

Canandaigua Supervisor Pam Helming wins Republican Endorsement for State Senate seat

Pam Helming

Times of Wayne County, May 28, 2016

A six-county meeting of the Republican County Chairmen and Town Committees of the 54th Senate District, gathered on Wednesday night in Geneva to determine a Joint Endorsement of their Republican candidate.

Slightly over 300 attendees voted through five ballots to obtain a consensus. Eleven candidates were vying for the endorsement. They were: Pam Helming of Canandaigua, Tim Young of Palmyra, John Ritter of Geneva, Joe Geiger of Walworth, Mike Sigler of Freeville, Brian Manktelow of Lyons, Chris Folk of Waterloo, John Tubrity of Webster, Floyd Rayburn of Hopewell, Patti Cataldi of Webster, and Bobby Massarini of Union Springs.

The 54th District State Senate seat, currently held by Senator Mike Nozzolio of Seneca County, is on the November ballot, due to Nozzolio's retirement annoucement earlier this year, for health reasons. The 54th Senate District includes all of the Counties of Wayne and Seneca and part of the Counties of Monroe, Cayuga, Tompkins, and Ontario.

Following the first vote, the field was narrowed to the top five. With weighted voting, the first ballot winners were: Pam Helming (8494.74), Brian Manktelow (6602,00), Patti Cataldi (3592.26), Bobby Massarini (3128.16) and Joe Geiger (2280.17)

The second ballot, brought the number down to 4 candidates, with Helming, Manktelow, Cataldi and Geiger still in the running. Three candidates: Helming, Manktelow and Geiger remained after vote #3. The second to last vote had Helming (from Ontario County) and Manktelow (from Wayne County) facing off on the final run. Final voting totals were: 13,574.08 to 11,572.34. It was Canandaigua Supervisor, Pam Helming coming out with the win, as the endorsed Republican candidate for the 54th District.

"I am grateful for all of your support, and I am honored to be the candidate for our party. This phase is now over, but it is just the beginning of the campaign," said Helming.

Brian Manktelow was also very thankful for his supporters, who stuck it out until the end of the meeting (after midnight). "I appreciated very much those who made the effort to come out tonight and who showed support and listened to my message during this process. I am extremely proud of the commitment to our party during this convention for endorsement. The turnout was amazing, and I am grateful to have been a part of this,"

A number of the 11 candidates have already announced to their supporters that they will be putting their names in for a primary run for the Republican line endorsement in September.

The endorsed Republican candidate will run against Democratic candidate, Rose Town Supervisor, Kenan Baldridge in November for the Senate seat.

Link to the story on Times of Wayne County website

GOP goes with Helming in race for 54th state Senate seat

Pam Helming

Canandaigua Town Supervisor Pam Helming is congratulated after earning support from Republicans at a party committee meeting in Geneva Wednesday. Helming is seeking the 54th state Senate seat being vacated by Mike Nozzolio.

By STEVE BUCHIERE May 26, 2016

Finger Lakes Times

GENEVA - Some 5 1/2 hours and countless cups of coffee later, Republican leaders from six counties selected a candidate for the 54th state Senate seat.

That person is Pam Helming.

On the fifth ballot cast by county and town Republican leaders at a packed Club 86 Wednesday night, the Canandaigua town supervisor bested a field of 11 candidates that was whittled down ballot by ballot.

In the fifth and final vote, Helming defeated Lyons Town Supervisor Brian Manktelow by about 2,000 votes - many were cast in proxy.

The winner was announced around midnight, and many of the people who cast ballots in the last vote didn't stay around to find out how it turned out.

"Text me" was uttered more than once as they filed out of Club 86.

"It's our intention (as Republican committee leaders) to support the winner, Pam Helming," said Wayne County Republican Committee member Bob Oaks, a state assemblyman from Macedon representing the 130th District.

Helming issued a statement Thursday morning following the victory:

"During the last four weeks, it's been a true pleasure getting to know the dedicated committee members of the 54th District. I'm humbled by their support and appreciative of the time they have invested in this process. I'm proud to be the endorsed Republican candidate of the Seneca, Cayuga, Wayne, Tompkins, Monroe and Ontario Republican committees.

"In the upcoming weeks, I'm looking forward to working with the Republican committees and meeting with residents and business owners in the six-county region. I want to hear their concerns for NYS and get our positive message out. We need to fight for our way of life in upstate New York. I will continue knocking on doors and meeting with constituents across the district to earn their trust and vote."

However, Helming's win doesn't end the process of who will be on the ballot in November for the seat being vacated by the retiring Mike Nozzolio. At least one candidate, Canandaigua businessman Floyd Rayburn, said before the voting started that he was in the race for the long run, meaning he plans to force a primary - and perhaps even run an independent campaign.

"This is the year of the businessperson, not the politician," said Rayburn, who owns a masonry business. "If I get whipped in the primary, then I'll reassess."

Manktelow, coming off the loss to Helming, said he was unsure if he would pursue a primary.

"I've got to sleep on it and think about it," he said.

Joe Geiger, an upstart Republican from Walworth who made it to the final three with Helming and Manktelow, told fellow Republicans he planned to stay in the race, according to a source in the voting room. Robert "Bobby" Massarini of Cayuga County said the same thing.

However, between ballot counts Oaks said the candidate endorsed by GOP leaders has some significant advantages, including party members carrying nominating petitions for them.

Helming said she was on pins and needles during the night. She told her fellow Republicans after the vote that her selection was "just the first step in the process. We've got to go out and beat the Democrat."

That would be Rose Town Supervisor Kenan Baldridge, who received the endorsement of Democratic leaders in the district. The Democrats did not host a nominating convention.

Helming said she wasn't going to worry last night about a primary. She was going to enjoy the win, which she said came following meeting after meeting with Republican leaders from around the district in an effort to gain their support. She was allowed a three-minute pitch before voting began, as were all candidates Wednesday night.

As for the pace of the evening, that was another matter. Many Republicans seemed frustrated at the time taken between votes and the number of ballots needed to pare the field.

Oaks said the nominating convention process was something the county chairmen decided. They liked the idea of having so many Republicans have a say in the process to endorse a candidate.

"It's been an event in local decision-making," Oaks said, adding that the vote counts went slowly because GOP leaders wanted to ensure accuracy. He noted that each candidate was allowed to have an observer watch the count.

As for those who may stay on for a primary, he noted that a fairly large contingent of Republicans from all walks of life made decisions that would likely be similar to a primary election.

"Whoever resonates here, will resonate" in a primary, said Oaks, who decided against running for the position earlier this year after weeks of speculation.

Link to the story on Finger Lakes Times website

Pam Helming wins GOP endorsement for 54th state Senate

The Canandaigua town supervisor won after five rounds of voting in a nominating convention that ended after 1 a.m. Thursday in Geneva.

By Julie Sherwood

Posted May. 25, 2016 at 9:58 PM

More than 300 Republican committee members from the six counties of the 54th state Senate District are expected to be voting well into the night as they seek to whittle down 11 contenders to one. But as signs around Club 86 in Geneva where the nominating event began in early evening indicated, many of the contenders plan to stay in the race even if they are not the pick.

"I am in to stay, I am not backing down," said Floyd Rayburn during a break after all the candidates had each given a three-minute speech before the first round of voting. Rayburn, an Ontario County businessman, and Canandaigua Town Supervisor Pam Helming are two of the 11 contenders in a race for the district now held by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette who is not seeking re-election.

Helming said she is heading to the September GOP primary as well, with or without the endorsement of the six committees. She said at a recent Republican meeting it was clear that most, if not all, of the candidates plan to stay in.

Though having the endorsement gives that candidate an edge in running in the primary, Helming said.

The first round of votes was to narrow the field to the top five winners, then go to second and third ballots in narrowing to one.

In addition to Helming and Rayburn, who is owner of R.G. Rayburn Mason Contractors, Inc., in Hopewell, the other contenders are: Lyons Town Supervisor Brian Manktelow; Tompkins County Legislator Mike Sigler; John Tubridy, a member of the Webster Republican Committee; Patti Cataldi, Webster deputy town supervisor; Christopher Folk, Waterloo town justice; Joe Geiger, Army veteran from Walworth; Robert "Bobby" Massarini; Jon Ritter; and Tim Young.

The 54th Senate District includes all of Wayne and Seneca counties and parts of Cayuga, Tompkins, Monroe (town of Webster) and Ontario counties, including Geneva and Canandaigua.

Link to the story

Canandaigua Town Supervisor Helming exploring run for state Senate

Pam Helming

The Town Supervisor said she was encouraged to pursue the Republican nomination for the 54th state Senate District seat being vacated by state Sen. Mike Nozzolio, R- Fayette.

By Julie Sherwood

Posted: Apr. 21, 2016 at 6:42 PM

Canandaigua, N.Y.

CANANDAIGUA - Canandaigua Town Supervisor Pam Helming is one of a number of people interested in running for the 54th state Senate District. The six-county district seat will be vacant since state Sen. Mike Nozzolio, R-Fayette, announced he is not seeking re-election this year because of health reasons.

"I am definitely exploring it," Helming said Thursday. She met with the Republican chairs of the six counties on Saturday and had a 15-minute interview, she said. Later, Helming said she was contacted and encouraged to run.

A next step in the process is when the GOP chairs meet May 25 and "have a chance to vote on which candidate to move forward," she said.

The district, which is dominated by Republican voters, includes all of Wayne and Seneca counties and parts of Cayuga, Tompkins, Monroe and Ontario counties, which include Geneva and Canandaigua.

Ontario County Republican Committee Chairman Doug Finch said last week about a dozen potential GOP candidates are exploring a run for the seat. The potential candidates are going through the process of speaking with the county chairs and town and city committee members in all six counties, he said.

"Many have chosen to explore their potential candidacy through the committee structure rather than making a public announcement at this time," Finch said.

He mentioned late May as the expected time for the district's GOP committees to choose a candidate to be the Republican nominee.

Earlier this month, Lyons Town Supervisor Brian Manktelow said he will seek the Republican nomination, along with John Tubridy, a member of the Webster Republican Committee. Assemblyman Bob Oaks, of Macedon, the Wayne County GOP chairman, said he is not seeking the nomination.

There is also interest on the Democratic side. On Thursday, Rose Town Supervisor Kenan Baldridge announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination. Wayne County Democratic County Chairman Mark Alquist said Baldridge "is very qualified."

He would make a great senator. He is very intelligent, hard working, a common sense man of the people," Alquist said. "It is going to be a challenge, and he is up to the challenge."

Link to the story on

Canandaigua introduces new website, Facebook page

Pam Helming

By Pamela A. Helming

Posted: Apr. 9, 2016 at 2:01 AM

Canandaigua, N.Y.

Sunshine Week lasts a short seven days, but in the town of Canandaigua we're working hard every day of the year to improve our transparency. Recently we've made it easier for the public to access important and helpful information. How? We've created a new website, launched a Facebook page and continue to offer interested citizens the opportunity to receive email notifications.

Our new website,, is easy to navigate. It includes expanded content, such as helpful information for new residents, the supervisor's monthly revenue and expense reports, parks and recreation updates and quick links to proposed code updates, minutes, meeting schedules, news and much, much more.

For those who prefer to receive their information through social media, you will be happy to hear we have launched a town of Canandaigua Facebook page. Check us out and like us, and share our page with your friends.

If you prefer to receive information via email, register on our website to receive town-related information and alerts delivered directly to your inbox. The registration process is quick and easy.

We also encourage you to attend our monthly board and committee meetings. The town board meets at 6 p.m. the third Monday of every month. During the meetings, we offer three scheduled opportunities for public input. If you cannot make a meeting, but would like to comment on a matter, please send your written comments to the town supervisor/town board or give us a call.

The meeting schedules for all of our boards and committees are posted on the website, and brochures are available at town hall.

Should you have additional suggestions for creating a more open and transparent government, please send us your ideas.

Pamela A. Helming is the Canandaigua town supervisor.

Link to the story on

Canandaigua farmers, town work to save farmland

A public forum Wednesday night is a step toward developing an agricultural enhancement plan.

By Mike Murphy

Posted: Mar. 23, 2016 at 11:07 PM

CANANDAIGUA — Tim Stryker, a Canandaigua Academy sophomore and perhaps future second-generation farmer, said he wishes more people were educated about agriculture.

The town of Canandaigua is in the process of developing an agricultural enhancement plan, which he believes could draw more attention to farms and their benefit to the community.

“There is so much more to farming than the man on the tractor,” Stryker said.

The agricultural enhancement plan would not only work to identify and prioritize farms and agricultural properties in town for long-term protection but also determine ways to promote farm products and build on their economic benefits to the town and county.

A key aspect of the plan is analyzing development pressure on properties, according to Barbara Johnston, from LaBella and Associates, which is developing the plan.

“I think we can expect more in the future than we have in the last eight to 10 years,” Johnston said.

A public forum was attended Wednesday night by about 25 farmers and town and county land- and water-use experts. Planners are seeking to learn more of the strengths of the community that benefit agriculture and weaknesses that hurt it, as well as opportunities and threats facing large and small farmers.

Agriculture is an $180 million business in the county, and for every $1 agriculture produces, it generates $3 more in jobs, services, related industry, production and more, Johnston said.

“Agriculture is a big driver in the community,” Johnston said.

And a plan will help to protect the industry from a series of challenges, whether global markets, pricing, development pressure or competition, identified by farmers and town officials.

Developing a plan is the top goal identified by town officials and citizens as part of implementing an updated comprehensive plan, according to Doug Finch, the town’s director of development.

“We’re trying to be prepared for an uncertain future and build on our strengths,” Johnston said.

Canandaigua Town Supervisor Pam Helming said the plan is meant to be used and followed and not shelved. In fact, aspects of agriculture protection have been either approved, such as the Padelford Brook Greenway plan that protects more than 10,000 acres of prime farming soil in town.

The town also is developing a sewer management plan, which is designed to keep sewers away from agricultural properties.

“There’s proof in the pudding,” Helming said.

Several more steps are still to come. The consultant is accepting farmer and farmland owner surveys through the end of next week.

A public forum on agriculture economic development is planned for the summer.

“The economic impact of agriculture is a big part of our plan,” Johnston said.

Another public meeting will be scheduled in late fall, with a possible final plan adopted by the end of the year.

To participate:

The town of Canandaigua has launched a public survey, which is available at Although the survey is intended primarily for farmers and farmland owners, anyone interested in the future of agriculture in the town may participate.

Link to the story on Canandaigua farmers, town work to save famland

Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce names Mr. Canandaigua 2016

Mr Jack Moran and his Wife, Ann


On January 22, 2016, the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce hosted their 106th Annual Gala and the Mr. / Mrs. / Ms. Canandaigua ceremony.

Mr. Jack Moran of Roseland Bowl Family Fun Center was named Mr. Canandaigua 2016. Jack and his wife Ann have owned and operated Roseland Bowl Family Fun Center for many years. Both are strong advocates for our region and are responsible for bringing national recognition to our community. Congratulations Jack (and Ann)!!!!

Jack and Ann Moran

State of the Town by Canandaigua Town Supervisor Pam Helming

Pam Helming

For those who were unable to attend the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce 106th Annual Gala, here is Supervisor Pam Helming's look back on 2015 in the Town of Canandaigua (on April 22 a more detailed State of the Town address will be presented to Chamber members and interested public):

During the past year, the Town continued to challenge ourselves to provide the best possible public services while maintaining a reasonable tax rate. We adopted a tax cap compliant budget with a tax rate of .92/$1000 of assessed value. To give you some perspective of how this rate compares to others, the average Ontario County town tax rate is $1.96/ $1000 of assessed value.

In 2015, Tax dollars were spent on replacing several miles of asbestos containing water pipe, maintaining 102 centerline road miles, operating our waste and recycling center and providing water services to more than 2400 customers.

Rebuilding a section of Duel Road was one of the more challenging & expensive projects. The price tag was $500,000. With Senator Nozzolio's support, we are working on a grant to recoup $100,000. Thank you for your help Senator.

This past year our parks department with support from ARC created a life skills program for autistic young adults. The program included water safety, fishing and canoeing instruction and was filled to capacity. Program participants mastered many new skills and our staff will always remember the joy and happiness the students experienced when landing their first catch or successfully paddling a canoe.

In 2015, development in the Town remained strong. We welcomed 16 new businesses and our development office issued 609 building permits. This represents a 42% increase in building permits over 2014. The majority of residential building is occurring in our southern corridor and uptown areas.

In the uptown area, Iverson Construction is busy building a beautiful apartment complex for our Veteran's. I would like to thank Assembly Leader Kolb & the Geneva Housing Authority for their hard work on behalf of our Veterans and for bringing this project to our community.

Over the past year, the Town worked with private property owners, citizens teams and watershed officials to implement plans and programs designed to balance our growth and development with the preservation and protection of our natural resources. I'm proud to share that our efforts earned the Town of Canandaigua the distinction of being named the 2015 CLWA Stewardship Award winner.

That's a quick snapshot of 2015. However before I wrap up, I would like to take a moment and remember the 1995 Mr. Canandaigua; Jim Holden. Jim was the Town Supervisor from 1982 - 1989. He served as a CA School Board Member and was an active Rotarian. Jim is well known for his worldwide humanitarian efforts. Locally, many of us fondly remember Jim as the real Santa Claus; Jim certainly looked the part with his white hair and bushy beard and truth be told, he acted like Santa- making significant contributions to many organizations including the Salvation Army, the Civic Center, the Comfort Care home and his church. Jim was also responsible for the acquisition of Onanda Park. This was a significant accomplishment as it forever secured public access to Canandaigua Lake; the jewel of Canandaigua and the most beautiful public park in the Finger Lakes region. Jim was an inspiration and a mentor to many. We will miss him. My heart goes out to his family; especially his wife Jane. God Bless You.

A Special Message from NYS Senator Michael F. Nozzolio

Michael F. Nozzolio

MICHAEL F. NOZZOLIO February 02, 2016

It has been my honor to serve the people of our region these past 45 years, first as a legislative staff member in both the United States Congress and New York State Legislature, and then as an elected representative in the New York State Assembly and State Senate. My work has been extremely demanding, and I took those responsibilities very seriously every single day. I have remained always mindful that my father would have never imagined, as he immigrated to America from Italy as a young man, seeking only the opportunity to work hard, raise a family and become a citizen of the United States, that one day he would have a son who would be elected to serve in the New York State Legislature.

Many are aware that my younger brother Matt died suddenly and prematurely of heart failure eight years ago. Since that time, I have been under the watchful care of my cardiologist and primary care physician. Their diagnosis was recently confirmed by additional medical specialists that within the next few months I will require open heart surgery to repair and replace faulty heart valves.

The serious nature of this surgery will require a minimum of a three to five month recuperation period. The doctors also indicate that even more recuperation time would be required before I could begin to keep the normal hectic pace my schedule has always demanded. This has led me to the decision that now is the appropriate time to announce I will not seek reelection in 2016 for another term, retiring from the job I love, serving the people of our region in the New York State Senate.

For 17 consecutive elections the citizens of the Finger Lakes/Lake Ontario region have bestowed on me the tremendous honor of serving them as their representative in the New York State Legislature.

Throughout each and every day of the past three and one half decades I have placed my energy and heart into working as hard as possible as the elected representative for the people of the region that I love and where I live, work and always called home. My efforts focused on making government more responsive to the needs of the people I represent, and I have worked tirelessly to create opportunities here for our citizens so they could live, work and raise their families.

Together with my dedicated and professional staff, we have worked very hard against many significant odds to achieve those objectives. Much has been done. We have assisted tens of thousands of constituents with problems they had because of all too remote and often insensitive government. We have worked to save countless jobs from leaving New York State, and encouraged thousands of job opportunities to come to our region. From Auburn to Palmyra to Webster to Lansing to Canandaigua and all places in-between, we have expanded athletic opportunities for our youth and assisted our seniors on fixed incomes with property tax relief and prescription medicine costs. Through our efforts we have been able to provide unprecedented support for our schools, local libraries, police departments and volunteer fire departments.

Mere words cannot adequately express how meaningful it is to help constituents who often have no place else to turn. Assisting constituents make important improvements in their lives, such as getting a new wheelchair, obtaining the proper cancer treatment, saving their job from moving away to another state, helping them work through the mountains of paperwork of government bureaucracies, and helping both the young and senior citizens find fulfillment through the services available at their public libraries are all types of things we do each and every day.

My efforts have been dedicated to meeting the needs of the Finger Lakes/Lake Ontario region and providing the leadership necessary to enhance our area today and well into the 21st century.

One of my proudest accomplishments was helping to establish the Finger Lakes Institute, located on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva. For over a decade it has provided scientific attention to the preservation, protection and promotion of our Finger Lakes, the most important natural resource of our region. The work of the Finger Lakes Institute is enhanced throughout the vast watershed by the Finger Lakes/Lake Ontario Water Protection Alliance which I helped to create and continue to support.

Focusing New York State’s support to the critically important applied agricultural research conducted at the Cornell Experiment Station has been an important objective of mine for many years. Our efforts provided the Station with the resources for much needed renovation, and significant new tools for innovation such as the Hiperbaric 55 High Pressure Processing Machine. New greenhouses for agricultural research, labs and office space to nurture job development, and the construction of the Finger Lakes Viticulture Center to educate and train winemakers, winery workers and business owners of the future for the growing New York wine industry are all enhancements I helped to establish. These projects, coupled with our recent announcement to create the Institute for Food Safety at Cornell University and locate it at the Experiment Station’s Geneva campus, will position our region to be at the forefront of agricultural research, training, and policy development well into the next century.

It has been an important objective of mine to keep us forever mindful of the enormous sacrifices of our Nation’s veterans. Waterloo, New York is the nationally recognized birthplace of Memorial Day. Within its shadow is the site of the Sampson Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, where more than 320 veterans now rest for eternity. I am extremely proud to have helped create this fitting and permanent memorial cemetery to those genuine American heroes. I am both proud and humbled to stand with their families and loved ones in the very moving ceremonies held on warm Memorial Days in May and cold days in December in remembrance and gratitude for their service to our Nation.

For me, these efforts to support our region have been ongoing throughout my adult life. I am very grateful to the many fine mentors I have had through the years. These outstanding citizens had vast leadership experiences at the highest levels of scholarship, government and politics, and I am very fortunate to have the benefit of their knowledge and guidance. Those invaluable learning experiences began when I was a student at Cornell University and selected to be an intern in the United States House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.; continued as a staff member and later as counsel in the legislatures of both our State and Nation; and fully developed as an elected member of the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate.

The many successes I have achieved on behalf of my constituents could not have occurred without the wonderful support of others.

First and foremost, I take this opportunity to give my special thanks and eternal gratitude to my wife Rosemary for her many sacrifices and steadfast support throughout my many years of public service. Never seeking the limelight for herself, she has given much more to me throughout the years than I could ever repay. She has always been a pillar of strength and I am very fortunate to have her by my side.

My sincere appreciation to my excellent, hard working, extremely professional and dedicated staff, especially Joan Grela and Meagan Fitzgerald with their combined over 50 years of excellent service to our constituents.

My heartfelt thanks to the residents of the Finger Lakes for selecting me to be their elected representative for these past three and one half decades.

One of my favorite quotations from the U.S. Supreme Court is that in these United States, the highest public office is that of private citizen. I have always shared that belief, and every day embodied those words in the service I have provided to my constituents.

It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve the people of the Finger Lakes region that I love and where I have always called home.

Thank you very much.

Link to the story on

Ben Carson: Government dependency is 'opposite of compassion'

Dr. Ben Carson

The Hill
By Ben Kamisar | Feb. 26, 2015, 09:36 am

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson opened the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday morning with a professorial speech that slammed liberal government programs and policies, previewing themes of a potential 2016 presidential bid.

“It really is not compassionate to pat people on the head and say, ‘There there, you poor little thing. I’m going to take care of all of your needs,’ ” he told the crowd.

Dr. Ben Carson. (Photo from

“That’s not compassion, that’s the opposite of compassion. It's making people dependent. What real compassion is, is using our intellect to find ways to allow those people to climb out of dependency and realize the American dream.” Carson added during the segment’s brief question-and-answer period that he’s “not interested in getting rid of the safety net,” but instead “interested in getting rid of dependency.”

The former neurosurgeon ticked off a laundry list of conservative ideas including abolishing the IRS, protecting gun rights, and limiting government’s involvement in healthcare and education, with each getting increasing applause from the friendly crowd.

“I’m not ready for Hillary, but what am I ready for?” he asked, chiding assumed Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

“I’m ready for a country that puts our Constitution on the top shelf, every part of it.”

He also spoke about his healthcare expertise, warning that Republicans need to come up with a strong alternative to the Affordable Care Act before the party works to repeal it. And he also showed support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of his controversial speech to Congress next week.

While Carson has never held elected office, he rose to prominence within the conservative movement with a passionate speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013. He’s performed well in national polling of a hypothetical 2016 field — a Real Clear Politics average of those polls has Carson in fourth place.

His CPAC speech is the first in the annual three-day event filled with speeches from conservative politicians and potential presidential hopefuls. The event is seen as an important launching point for likely presidential candidates looking to make inroads with the party's base.

Link to the story on

Scott Walker tops GOP field in new national poll on 2016

Scott Walker

Scott Walker

The Washington Times
By David Sherfinski - Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is leading a host of potential 2016 GOP presidential contenders with 25 percent of the vote in a national poll on the nomination contest released Tuesday.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is second at 18 percent, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 17 percent and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 10 percent, according to the poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas are at 5 percent apiece, followed by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 4 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 3 percent apiece.

Mr. Walker was at 11 percent in a PPP poll from last month, which 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney was leading with 21 percent of the vote, followed by Mr. Bush at 17 percent and Mr. Carson at 15 percent. After floating the possibility of entering the race, Mr. Romney said last month he is not running for president again in 2016.

“There is no doubt — Scott Walker is the candidate with all the momentum in the Republican race for President right now,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “The big question is whether he will be able to sustain it in a way that most of the fleeting Republican front runners in 2012 couldn’t.”

Among “very conservative” voters, Mr. Walker leads with 37 percent, followed by Mr. Carson’s 19 percent and Mr. Bush’s 12 percent.

Mr. Bush leads Mr. Walker among moderates, 34 percent to 12 percent. But the electorate during the GOP primary process is often comprised of the most passionate grassroots conservatives, many of whom are skeptical of Mr. Bush’s positions on immigration and education.

Mr. Walker also leads among “tea party” voters with 43 percent, with Mr. Carson a distant second at 16 percent.

The survey of 316 Republican primary voters was conducted Feb. 20-22 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.5 percent. It was conducted via automated phone interviews and interviews over the Internet to voters without landlines.

Link to the story on

Judge orders Cuomo to call congressional special election

Michael Grimm

Michael Grimm. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

By Luca Marzorati and Colby Hamilton 1:12 p.m. | Feb. 17, 2015

A federal judge in Brooklyn has given Gov. Andrew Cuomo until February 20 to either set the date for a special election to replace former congressman Michael Grimm, or to provide the court with justification for the delay.

In a memorandum and order issued on Tuesday, district court judge Jack Weinstein said if Cuomo fails to do either, the court will set the date for the election.

"The right to representation in government is the central pillar of democracy in this country," Weinstein wrote. "Unjustified delay in filling a vacancy cannot be countenanced."

In detailed, 42-page decision, Weinstein outlined the background of the vacancy and listed multiple reasons for his order.

The judge, who has served on the federal bench since 1967, noted the "critical losses" for the voters in the Eleventh Congressional District—which spans Staten Island and Brooklyn—if the seat is allowed to remain empty.

"The Eleventh District of New York is unique," Weinstein wrote. "It has a special voice which should not be silenced on critical issues of taxes, welfare payments, social security, health benefits, war and peace and the myriad of protections and controls of our federal government."

Weinstein rejected the arguments from Cuomo's attorneys, presented in court last week, that state law provided the governor with virtually unlimited discretion in declaring a date for the special election.The judge called those arguments "too narrow."

"The spirit of the statutory scheme is clear: The announcement of the date for the election should occur almost immediately after the vacancy occurs," Weinstein said.

The court found that, unlike in previous cases—such as the 2010 case, Fox v. Paterson, which allowed for broad discretion in scheduling a special election and formed the basis for the arguments from Cuomo's lawyers—the governor had, in this case, offered no substantial reason why an election had not been called.

Cuomo told reporters last week that the cost of holding special elections was one consideration in his decision.

"Aside from the cost of the special election, the court is not aware of, and defendant has not yet proffered, any reason that the injunction sought would constitute a threat to the public interest or an undue burden," Weinstein said.

The case was brought by Staten Island lawyer Ronald Castorina Jr., the Republican board of elections commissioner for Staten Island, on behalf of eight plaintiffs. Reached by phone, Castorina said he was pleased with the court's "artfully crafted" and "very smart" decision and said "the ball is in the governor's court."

"He’s going to have to essentially come up with factors that are compelling enough to the court to justify the delay," Castorina said.

The court's decision was ultimately "an opportunity," according to Castorina, for Cuomo to avoid the court setting the date for a special election, which he said would be "embarrassing to any governor."

In a statement, a spokesperson for the governor said he will set a date "shortly."

“As reflected in the State’s papers filed last week, the Governor will announce the date for the Special Election for New York’s 11th Congressional District shortly, consistent with our constitutional obligation and in a manner that balances both the economic impact of the election as well as the need for fair representation," said communications director Melissa DeRosa.

State law requires a special election to be held between 70 and 80 days after the governor announces the date, making May 1 the earliest possible date for an election.

Republicans appear to have settled on Staten Island district attorney Dan Donovan as the party's nominee for the seat, while Democrats are still searching for a candidate.

Read the ruling here:

Link to the story on

Media and Press Coverage

Meet Carl Heastie, the Flawed Politician Who Might Lead the N.Y. Assembly

Carl Heastie

Carl Heastie on Jan. 27, 2015.Credit Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times

The Editorial Page Editor's Blog, NY Times | By Eleanor Randolph
Posted 02/2/2015

As the New York legislature waited for the resignation of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Democratic lawmakers appeared all too ready to choose Assemblyman Carl Heastie of the Bronx as his replacement.

That scramble to put a relative unknown like Mr. Heastie into one of the top three jobs in New York’s state government is a step backward, even for the notoriously backward ways of Albany.

Here are a few of the reasons why Mr. Heastie would be a bad choice:

• Heastie’s personal and political finances are, at best, sloppy. In his last public filing, he reported from $21,000 to $50,000 in credit card debt.

• Before it was disbanded by Governor Andrew Cuomo, The Moreland Commission on corruption in Albany listed Mr. Heastie as one of the lawmakers with more than $10,000 in campaign expenses that were not properly detailed. A Times review of Mr. Heastie’s campaign finance filings likewise showed tens of thousands of dollars in expenses that were not itemized since he was elected to the Assembly in 2000.

• Although Mr. Heastie was not a major leader in the Assembly, he racked up $23,440 in per diem and travel expenses in 2014—the third highest in the Assembly.

• He has a thin legislative record. Although he did support a few good laws like a raise in the minimum wage, his 14 years in office also include some very troubling votes. For example, he sponsored pay-day loans for lenders who charge up to 200 percent interest — an outrageous burden on some of the very people in the Bronx that he was elected to protect. Mr. Heastie received $10,000 from that check cashing industry (a contribution he said was for a campaign dinner, not for a campaign account, as though that makes a huge difference.)

• He voted against allowing same-sex marriage in New York when it came to the floor in 2007. Despite several later opportunities to support this important civil right, he did not vote “yes” until 2011 (when the bill finally passed and became law).

There are also plenty of outstanding questions about how Mr. Heastie stands on the most vital reforms that could make the New York legislature less of a national scandal.

He apparently favors more independence for other lawmakers — a luxury seldom offered by Mr. Silver.

But, until recently, he has said very little about the blatant need to tame the way private money controls the legislature’s public business. Before Governor Cuomo disbanded the Moreland Commission, its top recommendation was a working public financing system that should increase the value of smaller donations and lower limits for big spenders.

Mr. Heastie’s outside income appears to be minimal — about $5,000 a year for part-time teaching at a private college. Would he rally the Assembly to support a cap on outside income and disclosure in detail, even by lawyers like Mr. Silver? It’s not clear. Nor is it clear that he would support term limits for committee chairs and even the speaker’s job.

While these questions loom, Mr. Heastie is busy amassing votes in the Assembly the old-fashioned way. Democratic county leaders are working behind the scenes to strong-arm other Assembly members into going along. Even Mr. Silver has suggested to a reporter that Mr. Heastie is “a great choice.”

If Mr. Silver thinks so, could it possibly be right?

Updated, 5:21 p.m. |
Shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, Democrats in the Assembly voted unanimously to elect Mr. Heastie as their Speaker. The official vote of the entire Assembly is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, but it’s over. Mr. Heastie will now be one of the three most powerful politicians in New York State.

Link to the story on

Craig Doran

Meet Hon. Craig J. Doran

From the Administrative Directory - Administrative Judges - Outside NYC

Hon. Craig J. Doran

Craig J. Doran was first elected in November of 1999 and re-elected in November 2009 as Ontario County Court Judge. In his capacity as a Superior Court Judge, he presides over County Court (hearing criminal felony and civil cases), Family Court (hearing juvenile delinquency, PINS, custody and visitation issues, adoption, guardianship and a number of other "family-related" issues), and has also been designated by the New York State Chief Administrative Judge as a full-time "Acting" Supreme Court Justice, where he presides over a variety of civil matters.

In 2011, Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau appointed Judge Doran to serve as the Administrative Judge for the Seventh Judicial District. In that capacity, he is responsible for overseeing court operations in the trial courts in Livingston, Wayne, Seneca, Yates, Ontario, Steuben, Monroe and Cayuga Counties, that serve approximately 1.5 million people. Immediately prior to that appointment, Judge Doran served, for five years, as the Supervising Judge of the Family Courts in the Seventh Judicial District. In 2007, Judge Doran was named by Chief Judge Kaye to the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children. He also is a member of the Child Welfare Court Improvement Advisory Committee and the New York State Bar Association Task Force on Family Court. In 2008, Chief Judge Kaye called upon Judge Doran to Chair the newly formed New York State Judicial Commission on Interbranch Relations. Also, Doran is the founder and first presiding judge of the Ontario County Felony Drug Treatment Court and has been presiding judge of the Ontario County Juvenile Drug Treatment Court. Doran is currently Secretary-Treasurer and Legislative Chair for the County Judges Association of the State of New York; and he is a member of the New York State Family Court Judges Association. He has been guest lecturer at the New York University Law School, Albany Law School and the University of Rochester Medical Center Grand Rounds.

At Keuka College, Doran serves as an Associate Professor, teaching upper level classes in the Adult Studies Criminal Justice Bachelor and Masters Degree Programs. He also serves as an Instructor Expert for the Center for Professional Studies and International Programs. Doran has also taught at Finger Lakes Community College.

In a special election in February of 1994, Doran, at the age of 29, was elected to represent New York State's 129th Assembly District in the State Legislature. During his tenure in the Assembly, Doran was Chairman of the Assembly Minority Steering Committee, making him part of the Assembly Leadership Team. He traveled throughout the state seeking input of New Yorkers on issues of importance to them, and then worked to develop those ideas as part of the Assembly Legislative Program. He served as a member of the Codes Committee, the Tourism Committee and was the Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly Election Law, Cities and Judiciary committees. Craig also took a leadership role on many fronts in Albany and in his district, serving as a member of the New York State Assembly Task Force on Volunteer Firefighters, the Task Force on Health Care and Hospital Crisis, and the Task Force on Education Standards.

A lifelong resident of Canandaigua, Craig graduated from Canandaigua Academy in 1982, then from SUNY-Albany, magna cum laude, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Communications. In 1989, Craig received his Juris Doctor Degree from Albany Law School, cum laude, where he served as an editor of the Albany Law Review, authoring an article on the effects of government regulations upon the rights of landowners. In 1991, he was elected Chairman of the Ontario County Republican Committee, making him the youngest chairman in its history.

Judge Doran is or has been affiliated with Keuka College President's Advisory Board, Canandaigua Kiwanis Club, the Canandaigua and Geneva Chambers of Commerce, Geneva Rotary Club (honorary member), Canandaigua Merrill Hose and Geneva Hydrant Hose Fire Departments, Seneca Waterways Council of the Boy Scouts of America (Vice President) formerly known as the Finger Lakes Council, the Alternatives to Incarceration Advisory Board, The Partnership for Ontario County Board of Directors, Community Action Partnership Advisory Board, Monroe County Children's Center Advisory Board, United Way of Ontario County Board of Directors and Community Investment Committee, Ontario County Task Force on Homeless Children, the "Falling Through the Cracks" program, the Thompson Health Healthy Kids Advisory Board, the Drug-Free Communities Project Key Leader Group, Ontario County Reentry Task Force, and is Vice Chair of the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency's Regional Health 2020 Performance Workgroup.

Doran has been named a "Paul Harris Fellow" by the Canandaigua Rotary Club. He has received the "Honored Peacemaker Award" given by the Center for Dispute Settlement for efforts in advancing mediation as an alternative to litigation, and the Distinguished Service to Youth Award from the Finger Lakes Council of the Boy Scouts of America. In 2008, Craig was inducted as a Canandaigua Academy "Graduate of Distinction."

Craig and his wife, Eileen, are the parents of two daughters and one son.

Link to Hon. Craig J. Doran's Profile on

GOP names state Supreme Court candidates

GOP Supreme Court Candidates

Democrat & Chronicle | By David Riley
Posted 01/26/2015

Monroe County Republicans announced four candidates Monday for as many Rochester-area judicial seats that are up for grabs in state Supreme Court this year.

The candidates are Ontario County Court Judge Craig J. Doran, deputy county attorney and Pittsford Town Justice Bill Taylor, Monroe County Court judge and acting Supreme Court Justice Jim Piampiano and private attorney Judy Sinclair.

Terms are up for three incumbent justices this year — Republicans Henry Scudder and Thomas Stander and Democrat Joseph Valentino. Both Scudder and Stander are up against mandatory retirement age limits. Valentino has not yet decided whether to run for another term.

A fourth seat is open because Republican Justice John Owens won election to Surrogate's Court last year.

County GOP Chairman Bill Reilich introduced the candidates Monday at Republican headquarters on State Street.

"Clearly this team has a passion to serve and the expertise to adjudicate fairly," Reilich said.

County Democrats have not yet announced their candidates for Supreme Court.

Doran also is the administrative judge who oversees court operations throughout the 7th Judicial District, which covers Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates counties.

Taylor, who serves as counsel to County Executive Maggie Brooks, lost a 2011 district attorney race to Sandra Doorley, who was then a Democrat. Doorley announced earlier this month she will run for a second term as a Republican.

Piampiano has been an acting Supreme Court justice since 2011.

Sinclair has practiced in several different areas of law, including matrimonial, child support, real estate and criminal defense. She works for the law office of Thomas Cook, who is the chairman of the county Conservative Party.

Republicans also announced last week that they are backing County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo for county executive.

Includes reporting by staff writer Gary Craig.

Link to the story on

John Boehner

Boehner opens door to Obama immigration lawsuit | By Deirdre Walsh, Senior Congressional Producer
Posted 01/27/2015

Washington (CNN)- House Speaker John Boehner announced Tuesday plans to pursue legal action against the Obama administration in order to challenge President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, CNN has learned.

Boehner told Republican House members at Tuesday morning's meeting he plans to take steps to file a lawsuit.

"We are finalizing a plan to authorize litigation on this issue -- one we believe gives us the best chance of success," Boehner said, according to a source in the room.

This means the House would have to take up a resolution to authorize a lawsuit -- as it did on Obamacare last year.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's spokesman called the decision "an embarrassing admission of failure" for not passing immigration legislation.

"Republicans' radical anti-immigrant legislation is dead on arrival. Once again, House Republicans are crawling to the courts to relieve them of their responsibility to govern," Drew Hammill said in a written statement.

The move comes as House Republican leaders are struggling to round up support for a border security bill they had planned to vote on this week. The blizzard affecting the East coast postponed the vote, but some conservatives who opposed the bill said it didn't have the support needed to pass. Democrats are virtually united against the measure, so GOP leaders needed to lock in enough votes from their own members, and for now have put off any vote on that proposal.

Some House GOP members determined to block funding for the president's executive action view the border measure as an effort by leaders to placate conservatives who want to push for a full fight to deny money to the Administration.

"We're tired of trying to be too cute by a half. You know, playing these bait and switch moves and sending something over there [to the Senate] and then conveniently trading it for allowing the president's order to go through," Arizona Republican Rep Matt Salmon told reporters.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the Senate will take up the House-passed bill that strips funding for the president's executive order. But multiple GOP aides acknowledge it's not likely to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster. House and Senate Republican leaders insist they don't want any sort of partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security due to the immigration battle.

Boehner, pressed for the next step on what he'll do if the Senate rejects the House bill, said, "there's no reason for me to speculate on what we will or won't do."

During Tuesday morning's meeting closed door meeting the Speaker announced the initial steps on challenging the president in court. According to a House GOP leadership aide he told members he is drafting "a resolution authorizing the House to take a variety of legal actions" This could mean joining the states' lawsuit on the President's executive action or filing a separate lawsuit.

No decisions have been made on the specific legal action or argument the House GOP will use.

Link to the story on

Developer linked to Silver case tops 2014 donor list

Leonard Litwin | By Bill Mahoney
Posted 01/26/2015

Leonard Litwin, who appears to be the developer at the center of a criminal complaint against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, gave nearly $3.6 million to candidates and state-level political parties in the last election cycle, more than any other donor, according to a Capital analysis of campaign finance filings.

Litwin was followed on the list of top donors by the health care union 1199 SEIU, hedge fund manager James Simons, New York State United Teachers (which also managed an independent expenditure committee that spent millions of dollars on Senate races) and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

Litwin and 26 limited liability companies owned by Glenwood Management gave $2.07 million to statewide candidates and parties in the four years preceding December 2014 and $1.52 million to state legislative candidates in the two years preceding that month, the analysis by Capital showed.

These donations included $1 million to Governor Andrew Cuomo, $450,000 to the New York State Democratic Committee and $19,700 to Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. This makes Litwin the largest donor to Cuomo. He was also the largest donor to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ($240,000) and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli ($180,000).

He gave to each of Albany’s five legislative conferences: Senate Republicans ($1.01 million), the Independent Democratic Conference ($195,300), Assembly Democrats ($179,500), Senate Democrats ($133,000) and Assembly Republicans ($3,150). Senator Jeff Klein received $80,000 from Litwin’s holdings, more than any other individual legislator. In all, 89 state-level campaign committees received money from an LLC owned by Glenwood.

The total does not include amounts Litwin sent to other groups’ political action committees or independent expenditure committees. Glenwood’s LLCs gave $162,200 to Jobs for New York and $100,000 to the New York League of Conservation Voters, both of which supported Senate Republicans. This also does not include donations to local candidates. Litwin was notably the largest donor to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino in the last year of his 2013 re-election campaign.

1199 SEIU gave the second most money to candidates and parties, contributing $2.43 million. The Working Families Party received $801,350 from 1199, the largest share of its donations. Seven Senate Republicans received money from the union, which pledged last June to give no money to Senate Republicans.

Hedge fund manager James Simons and his wife, Marilyn, contributed $2.15 million. Of this money, $1.65 million went to the New York State Democratic Committee’s housekeeping account, with $1 million of this amount coming at a time when it was using large donations to purchase television advertisements that supported the governor’s agenda.

The top five donors were rounded out by NYSUT, with $2.09 million, and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, with $1.8 million. An independent expenditure committee run by NYUST officials also spent about $4 million helping Senate Democrats.

Michael McKee, treasurer of the Tenants PAC, has been a longtime critic of donors like Litwin. In a statement, he cited last week’s federal charges against Silver as “yet another reminder of the corrupting pay to play culture of Albany. But it takes two to tango and it comes as no surprise that the person likely bribing Shelly Silver, whether for tax subsidies for luxury developments or for weaker rent laws for hard-working New Yorkers, was none other than Leonard Litwin.”

McKee “urge[d] U.S. Attorney [Preet] Bharara to also hold Litwin for his actions. Further, if Litwin was in fact a party to criminal activity, all elected officials who accepted money from him should either return it or donate it to charity.”

Litwin has not been charged with any wrongdoing in relation to the speaker’s law firm, though he appears to be the individual identified in the federal complaint against Silver as “Developer-1.”

According to the complaint and various reports, Silver earned “nearly $700,000” in referral fees due to tax certiorari firm Goldberg & Iryami’s business with Developer-1 and an unknown second developer. While Silver referred Developer-1 to the firm, the developer did not initially know the speaker was earning money due to his business.

In 2012, Goldberg & Iryami had the developer sign a new retainer agreement that specified Silver’s financial gains. The developer initially hesitated, but after a meeting with Silver and lobbyist Brian Meara, agreed to sign a second form acknowledging the speaker’s monetary agreement.

Litwin, who turned 100 last October, had his start working in his father’s wholesale nursery company.

Gardening seems to run in his blood; according to a 1955 article in the St. Petersburg Times, his grandfather was “forester for Czar Nicholas II.”

His father, Harold, was an amateur poet who used the nom de plume “Harry Woodbourne.” Among his works was the “Golfer’s Prayer,” which he “presented on a hand-illuminated scroll to President Dwight D. Eisenhower” in 1959.

According to the Real Estate Board of New York’s biography of Litwin, he and “his father entered the New York City real estate market” in the 1950s. There are several indications, however, his father was involved in the real estate market at a smaller scale in earlier years. At least two transactions made by an individual with his father’s name were reported by the New York Times in the 1940s.

In 2007, Forbes named Litwin the 891st richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $1 billion.

He has disputed this characterization, however, claiming the description of him as “a billionaire is shocking. My wife will be surprised.”

He fell off the Forbes list the next year, when he lost substantial money investing with “country club friend” Bernie Madoff.

The wholesale nursery founded by his father is still operational. Based on Long Island, Woodbourne Cultural Nurseries seems to have a specialty in deer-resistant plants. It is “in the process of being converted to the Woodbourne Arboretum ... and will be Mr. Litwin’s legacy to all of Long Island as a statement of his passion for the environment and the need for greenery and nature in our lives.”

Several of Litwin's buildings are in Lower Manhattan, the location of Silver’s Assembly district. Many are new and were built with the help of government funds. A 2004 Common Cause report found almost 30 percent of the Liberty Bonds, designed to spur residential construction after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, issued in New York State were claimed by Litwin.

In 2012, REBNY honored “esteemed industry veteran Leonard Litwin as REBNY’s first ever Lifetime Honorary Chairman for his countless contributions to the City, our industry and to REBNY throughout the years.”

Litwin is press shy; he has repeatedly declined to comment on stories about his donations. A representative of his did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

—Jimmy Vielkind contributed reporting

Link to the story on

Anti-Corruption Panel Co-Chair Receives Big Donations From Sheldon Silver's Law Firm

Posted 08/26/2013

Here's my story from today:

A co-chairwoman of Gov. Cuomo’s commission probing state government corruption received nearly $300,000 in campaign donations from the law firm that employs Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Some critics question how aggressive the panel would be if asked to probe Silver — given the contributions to the co-chair, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, from Weitz & Luxenberg, its partners and their spouses.

“Given these hefty contributions, it’s fair to ask if Kathleen will look the other way or will she really hold Shelly’s feet to the fire,” said a senior state government official. “Time will tell.”

Rice and her co-chairs — Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Milton Williams — must all sign off on any subpoenas the commission issues.

Silver, a Democrat, reported making between $350,000 and $450,000 last year as “of counsel” at Weitz & Luxenberg, one of the leading trial lawyer firms in the state.

The firm gave Rice $5,000 in 2006. Partners Perry Weitz and Arthur Luxenberg, along with their wives, donated another $292,896 to her DA and attorney general campaigns between 2009 and this year.

No one else on the 25-member corruption commission received contributions from Weitz & Luxenberg.

Rice hired Justin Weitz, Perry Weitz’s son, as an assistant district attorney in 2009. He no longer works for her.

Rice spokesman Eric Phillips said the Democrat district attorney has spent more than two decades as a prosecutor “immune to fear or favor.”

“There’s no chance of that changing now,” Phillips said.

The current system, he said, requires politicians “who want to make a difference” to raise campaign money.

“The DA volunteered for this commission to help break down that unfortunate reality,” he said. Bill Mahoney of the New York Public Interest Research Group noted that Rice is among the top 10 fund-raisers for every disclosure filing period, receiving money from a host of special interests.

“It’s something to be mindful of,” Mahoney said. “Hopefully she will be able to rise above her ties to her donors and investigate the entire Legislature fairly.”

Aside from the Weitz & Luxenberg donations, Rice has received tens of thousands of dollars from unions and others with state business.

Among those who have given is Joseph Sitt, a partner at Thor Equities, one of five developers subpoenaed by the anti-corruption commission after the Daily News revealed the firms quietly received lucrative tax breaks in a housing bill passed in January.

Sitt gave Rice’s failed attorney general campaign $4,000 in 2010.

Rice has been a far bigger fund-raiser than fellow commission co-chair Fitzpatrick.

Campaign records dating back to 2006 show that he received regular donations from an upstate law firm that employs Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Fulton) and Sen. Neil Breslin (D-Albany). But those donations totaled less than $8,000.

Williams, the third co-chair, received no donations, since he hasn’t held public office.

Link to the story on

Andrew Cuomo Trouble

Cuomo's Slow-Mo Disaster | By Jeff Smith
Posted 08/10/2014

Andrew Cuomo is in serious trouble. Preet Bharara, the hard-charging U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, has turned up the heat on his administration’s alleged interference with an anti-corruption commission he appointed, and for the first time in the New York governor’s four-year tenure, he’s lost control of a situation. That’s an awful feeling for any politician, but especially for one who so prizes control, and who prides himself on playing political chess while his opponents play checkers. It’s the classic tale of a pol so consumed with avoiding a short-term image hit that he risked his long-term freedom. (I know the story well, because five years ago this week I lost control of a similar situation and ended up in prison for obstruction of justice.)

Let’s examine the peril of Cuomo’s predicament, which is far more serious than some believe. Few U.S. attorneys – particularly not the pugnacious Bharara – get into public pissing matches they intend to lose. And the stakes are high: Cuomo is one of the nation’s most powerful governors and heir to the national liberal mantle that his father, former governor Mario Cuomo, assumed with his poetic 1984 “Tale of Two Cities” Democratic National Convention speech. Decades later, leading Democrats continue to appropriate the elder Cuomo’s rhetoric; it was the basis for John Edwards 2008 presidential campaign as well as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s triumphant 2013 mayoral bid – not to mention Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s current stump speech. Based on that lineage and his “taming” of a formerly chaotic state capital by producing four on-time budgets, Cuomo the younger has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2016 (if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run) or 2020 (if Hillary runs and loses).

But despite the passage of timely balanced budgets, New York State government isn’t in great shape. Lately, more Albany politicians have gone on to prison than to higher office. Most of the cases involved bribery. In an attempt to reduce the influence of money in the New York capital – or, in the eyes of skeptics eying his $35 million war chest, appear as if he wanted to reduce said influence – Cuomo appointed the Moreland Commission to investigate politicians’ unethical and illegal behavior. To demonstrate the gravity of his endeavor, he had state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman officially designate commissioners as deputy attorneys general, thereby granting them law-enforcement powers. But once the commission got started, the trail led to some of Cuomo’s biggest funders.


The governor then faced a choice: endure any embarrassing revelations an inquiry may produce, or quash the inquiry and avoid short-term re-election campaign turbulence. Cuomo chose political expedience.

According to the New York Times and my conversations with people involved, Cuomo’s top aide Larry Schwartz called commissioners and commission staff multiple times and directed them not to subpoena major Cuomo backers. Federal witness-tampering law bars attempts to conceal documents or otherwise obstruct an official proceeding.

Soon thereafter, following passage of a watered-down ethics bill that gave Cuomo the political victory he felt he needed, the governor dissolved the commission. That’s when Bharara decided to pursue the tangled threads left by the commission’s abrupt disbandment.

Though Cuomo hunkered down when City and State and the New York Daily News ran smaller stories about his administration’s meddling, he denied any inappropriate interference after the recent Times expose. In concert with his public statement, another senior Cuomo aide, Joseph Percoco, allegedly called several commissioners to request public statements backing up Cuomo’s; Schwartz may have resisted making the calls this time around. Several supportive statements from commissioners magically appeared in media inboxes within minutes of each other. Percoco’s intervention may have violated federal obstruction of justice statutes, which prohibit attempts to “influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice.” Courts have expansively interpreted the “due administration of justice” clause to forbid any conduct interfering with a legal proceeding, which would encompass Bharara’s investigation.

To obtain a conviction under this clause, Bharara must prove that the defendant attempted to obstruct a pending federal proceeding. Cuomo’s acknowledgment of his staff’s communication with commissioners in advance of their supportive statements is important. Such communication is innocuous if it merely “correct(s) the record,” as Cuomo stated, but if it attempts to “corruptly persuade” commissioners by convincing them of an untrue story, then it constitutes obstruction of justice. Since contemporaneous records of commission and staff frustration at Cuomo’s attempts to thwart subpoenas exist, it will be difficult for him to argue that his aides were merely encouraging commissioners to make truthful statements. Even the fact that Percoco allegedly asked commissioners to communicate with him through private email messages rather than through their government accounts could be problematic, given 18 U.S.C. §1512(c), which prohibits attempts to conceal evidence during an investigation.

Perhaps Cuomo’s best defense is that commissioners’ testimonials were not sworn statements during legal proceedings, but merely incidental to the ongoing investigation. However, prosecution for obstructing justice under 18 U.S.C. §1512(b)(3) does not require proof that the defendant intended to obstruct a particular proceeding; federal judges have ruled it sufficient if the misleading information relating to a potential federal offense is likely to be transferred to a federal agent, a case Bharara could easily make following his seizure of all Moreland Commission material.

That Cuomo aide Percoco allegedly conducted this recent round of calls and Schwartz the earlier ones is consequential. Anyone familiar with the concept of the Prisoner’s Dilemma understands why. Instead of one top Cuomo aide in legal jeopardy, there are now two—and Bharara will doubtless seek to play them against each other, just like in the cop shows where the detectives split up the two suspects into separate interrogation rooms and tell each one, “Your buddy’s down the hall right now singing like a canary – you know that, right?”

Jeff Smith (@JeffSmithMO) is a former Missouri state senator who spent 2010 in prison after pleading guilty to charges stemming from a campaign finance violation. Now an urban policy professor at the New School in New York City, he is completing a book about the politics of prison.

Link to the story on

Rob Astorino & Family

Meet Rob Astorino

Featured on Rob Astorino's website;

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is the candidate for governor of New York State for the Republican and Conservative parties. He is currently serving a second term as County Executive after being re-elected by a 13-point margin in a county with a 2-1 Democratic enrollment advantage. Republicans comprise just 24% of voters in Westchester.

Astorino has a demonstrated ability to attract crossover votes, particularly among independents and traditionally Democratic ethnic constituencies. County Executive Astorino, who is fluent in Spanish, received a majority of the Latino vote in 2013, and he has built strong relationships in the African-American community. His willingness to share credit to achieve bipartisan successes has become one of his signature strengths.

Astorino fulfilled his 2009 pledge to voters to address the “tax madness” in a county with the highest property taxes in America. Astorino froze or cut the county tax levy every year he has served, and he has reduced overall spending in the county by 5.2%, the most in real dollars of any county in New York State. His responsible fiscal stewardship has earned Westchester the highest credit rating among counties in New York, and it has retained and attracted new businesses to the county, helping create 30,000 new private-sector jobs from 2010-2014.

Astorino has stood firmly against a historic federal overreach attempt into Westchester County by President Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD.) HUD is hoping to make Westchester a national template for a radical social engineering scheme that would give Washington power to dismantle local zoning laws across the nation. The Obama Administration’s overreach far exceeds the terms of a housing settlement County Executive Astorino inherited from his predecessor.

Before taking office as County Executive, Mr. Astorino had a successful career in the radio industry. He was station manager and program director of The Catholic Channel on Sirius-XM Satellite Radio and hosted a weekly radio show from St. Patrick’s Cathedral with the archbishop of New York. In 2001, he helped launch ESPN Radio in New York and became the station’s senior producer. Mr. Astorino was first elected to public office at age 21, serving as a member of the Mount Pleasant Board of Education. He went on to serve for 12 years as a councilman on the Mount Pleasant Town Board, including six years as deputy supervisor. In 2003, he was elected to the Westchester County Board of Legislators.

The County Executive earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications at Fordham University, where he also minored in Spanish and Political Science. In 2001, he studied in Barcelona, Spain, and received a Spanish Immersion Diploma from the Enforex School of International Studies. He is a lifelong resident of Westchester, where he and his wife, Sheila, are raising three young children.

Chris Moss

Meet Chris Moss

Featured on Rob Astorino's website;

On May 15, 2014, Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss accepted the New York State Republican Committee’s nomination to run for Lt. Governor alongside Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino.

County Executive Astorino recognized Sheriff Moss as a leading member of New York’s law enforcement community who could help him clean up the State Capital.

A 26-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, including many years as a Commander and Investigator with the Criminal Investigation Division, he was elected Sheriff in 2005 and was subsequently re-elected in 2009 and 2013.

As President of the New York State Sheriff’s Association, Chris Moss has been an outspoken critic of the so-called “SAFE Act” that restricts gunowner rights, and makes no one any safer. He has also been a strong advocate for cleaning up corruption in government, including support for term limits and eliminating pension benefits for elected officials convicted of corruption.

Sheriff Moss has been a leader in combatting drugs, including implementing Operation R.A.M. (Rid Area of Methamphetamine) and outfitting deputies with Narcan to reduce heroin overdoses. He also instituted Operation Safe Child, where children’s photographs and fingerprints are logged into a database to help in the event that they become missing or lost.

A graduate of the FBI National Academy, Sheriff Moss holds a Master’s Degree from Marist College and a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Empire State College. He is an avid hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman who lives in Elmira, NY, with his wife, Dana, and their eight-year old son, Wyatt.

Andrew Cuomo Loses NY Times Endorsement, Paper Cites Ethics 'Failure'

The Huffington Post | By Inae Oh
Posted 08/26/2014 5:04 pm EDT

The New York Times editorial board announced it would not be endorsing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in the upcoming September primary for governor.

Mr. Cuomo became governor on that platform and recorded several impressive achievements, but he failed to perform Job 1. The state government remains as subservient to big money as ever, and Mr. Cuomo resisted and even shut down opportunities to fix it. Because he broke his most important promise, we have decided not to make an endorsement for the Democratic primary on Sept. 9.

Tuesday's announcement, while not all that surprising considering Cuomo has been the subject of several extensive Times investigations in recent months, is still a crucial blow to the governor's image touting himself as a true progressive dedicated to reform.

The mostly symbolic message follows allegations that the governor routinely interfered with the Moreland Commission, an independent panel Cuomo himself created to fight corruption, after the commission began looking into cases carrying potential political consequences for him and his allies.

Cuomo has repeatedly denied the claims.

The Times did acknowledge, however, that Cuomo is still likely to secure a primary victory against challenger Zephyr Teachout because of his "vastly greater resources and name recognition."

As for Teachout, the paper applauded her commitment to deliver substantive change and transparency to the office, but declined to fully endorse her candidacy due to a lack of experience.

A recent poll found only 9 percent of likely Democratic voters were even aware of who she was.

Cuomo attempted to remove her from the primary ballot, arguing Teachout did not meet the state's constitutional residency requirements mandating candidates live in New York for five consecutive years.

A judge dismissed the lawsuit.

Rob Astorino Unveils Jobs Plan In NY Governor Race

Rob Astorino

Posted August 19, 2014 4:15 PM
Read a CBSNewYork/AP story on the new Jobs plan Rob Astorino unveiled for his New York State Governor's run.

Reference the link for the article

Pam Helming

Ontario County considers taking stance on tobacco sales in pharmacies

By John Addyman - Messenger Post
Posted Jun. 15, 2014 @ 8:59 am

Canandaigua, N.Y.

HOPEWELL - Should a public entity resolve to support ending the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies and stores containing pharmacies? Is it the role of a public health officer, in an effort to protect citizens from harmful substances and to encourage healthy lifestyles, to encourage pharmacies and stores containing pharmacies not to sell tobacco products?

Those are two of the philosophical questions Ontario County officials are considering after discussion at Wednesday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors' Health and Medical Services Committee. At issue is a resolution proposed by Public Health Director Mary Beer, and urged by the Tobacco Action Coalition of the Finger Lakes.

"A facility registered in the State of New York as a Pharmacy (is involved in) the preparation and dispensing of drugs, as well as the counseling of patients in the proper use of these drugs (and therefore) it is a conflict of interest for pharmacies, providers of health care, to also profit from the sale of harmful products such as tobacco, known to cause cancer, heart and pulmonary disease," the resolution begins.

Tobacco sales in pharmacies raise ethical issues, the resolution states, "since tobacco is the only consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill at least one-half of its long-term users." The resolution states that tobacco companies "use health-oriented stores … to help legitimize their products."

"Pharmacists are the most accessible of all healthcare providers and increasingly represent 'the face of neighborhood healthcare,'" according the resolution, which ends with the Board of Supervisors supporting a cessation of the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies and stores that contain pharmacies.

Reference the link for the entire article

Guest essay: Recognizing the work of Canandaigua town employees

By Yvonne Chavez and Jim Fralick
Posted May. 15, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — On Thursday, May 8, the Town of Canandaigua Republican and Democratic committees co-sponsored an Employee Appreciation Luncheon in honor of the town’s employees and elected officials. The lunch was in recognition of the outstanding service provided by these public servants to the town's residents.

Our Highway Department is made up of men who suffer through weather extremes by keeping our roads open in snowstorms at all hours of the day and at night. They also do an exceptional job maintaining and repair our roads and overseeing the transfer and recycle station. Over the past year, they also helped with a sprucing up of the current Town Hall, which will save taxpayers costly repairs in the long run.

The Development Office has been overhauled, and the permitting process streamlined so that residents can have timely responses to their applications. The director of development now stands ready to answer residents' questions and to provide guidance about the town’s development planning and review process. Improvements in the tracking of building projects now ensure that code enforcement officers are responding in a timely manner to site inspections. These changes are a big step forward in making Canandaigua a friendly place to live and conduct business.

We now enjoy a Town Hall that encourages resident involvement by offering a transparent government and easy access to all departments. Supervisor Pam Helming has encouraged residents to visit the town website – – and register their email address to receive important information related to town operations as they occur. (The link on the upper left of the home page — “click here to receive town information via Email” – offers specific areas of interest.)

We have boards and committees made up of town residents who perform a community service using their skills and interests to make a difference in the community’s appearance, recreation activities and land-use practices. Our town’s successful operation is due in part to the formation of positive relationships resulting in the development of great teamwork skills. This type of dedication and responsibility make for an extraordinary level of service to our town residents.

To all employees, volunteers and appointed officials, the luncheon on May 8 was a thank you for your diligent hard work and excellent service to our community. You can take pride and satisfaction in a job well done.

Yvonne Chavez is chairman of the Town of Canandaigua Republican Committee and Jim Fralick is chair of Town of Canandaigua Democratic Committee.

Canandaigua town to purchase sound system for meetings

CouncilMan CM-6W Audio System

By Megan Brandow
Posted May 13, 2014 @ 3:15 pm

The Canandaigua town board will spend about $2,000 to purchase an audio system that will eventually be used in live streaming and recording of town meetings.

In a resolution passed Monday board members unanimously agreed to purchase the Pro Acoustics CouncilMan CM-6W audio system for no more than $2,277. The company is first offering the town a free trial period to use the system.

Town residents brought the issue to the board after finding it difficult to hear the proceedings at town meetings. The town plans to eventually record the meetings and make the video available on the town’s website.

Town of Canandaigua taking measures to make business more open and accessible

Canandaigua Town Supervisor Pam Helming and board member Keith Cutri (also head of the technology
committee) talk about their efforts to make information more easily accessible to the public.
Jack Haley/Messenger Post Media

By Megan Brandow -
Posted Mar. 16, 2014 @ 7:53 am

CANANDAIGUA — It’s a week dedicated to promoting open government and freedom of information.

Sunshine Week is important not just for media outlets, but for anyone who wishes to be an informed citizen and have access to the everyday business of government, say open-government advocates.

For the Town of Canandaigua, where questions about open government dogged the administration of former supervisor Sam Casella, the goal, said Supervisor Pam Helming, is to practice the values of transparency every day.

Canandaigua town government has gone through significant changes in the past few months. Besides a new town supervisor, there is also a new town clerk and a new board member. Since January, a slew of vacant staff positions have been filled, including director of development and code enforcement officer.

With new blood comes a new way of doing business. Helming is leading the town’s effort to provide more detailed meeting agendas and minutes, encouraging feedback from residents and using technology to better communicate with the public.

To sign up for email alerts or to contact Town Board members, visit

Reference the Online Article

PAM HELMING: Updates on Canandaigua town budget

Pam Helming

By Pam Helming
Updated Nov. 14, 2013 @ 2:00 pm


During the Town of Canandaigua Preliminary Budget Hearing, Supervisor Casella delivered a narrative to the Town Board and the public. This document states the combined General and Highway tax rate is proposed to be $1.12 per $1,000 of assessed property value (the 2012 rate was $1.14). This tax rate was also recently printed in the Daily Messenger.

I'm happy to report that after considering input offered by the public and individual board members, the budget was adjusted. In 2013, taxpayers will see an additional decrease in the tax rate beyond the 2 cents that was proposed. The exact amount is not known until final adjustments are made to the budget. I’m guesstimating the tax rate should drop by another nickel or more per $1,000 of assessed value.

How were we able to make this additional reduction? By making changes that included removing $100,000 for the engineering of Canandaigua-Farmington Townline Road and containing health care costs.

The decision to remove the engineering line item was a unanimous decision of the board. The Town of Farmington is considering a proposal for a combined residential and commercial development on the Farmington side of the New Michigan and Townline roads. Because this development could have an impact on the portion of the road Canandaigua is responsible for, it makes sense to wait and see what direction Farmington will take before we spend any money.

The decision to cap the medical and dental care costs was not an easy one. Continuing to provide our employees with a competitive compensation package was paramount to our decision.

In 2013 all town employees (except the Town Board) will receive a 3 percent pay raise. This is the first increase given in several years. The town-sponsored Health Savings Account program, Health Reimbursement Account program and the health insurance buy-out program all remain intact. And of course, the town will continue funding the retirement program. So all in all, our employees will continue to receive a very healthy compensation package.

Residents who have thoughts, questions or comments on the budget should speak to a Town Board member. Contact information, including telephone numbers and email addresses, are available at

Reference the Online Article


Open government is job No. 1 in Town of Canandaigua in new year

Pam Helming

By Pam Helming
Posted Nov. 11, 2013

Canandaigua, N.Y.

I would like to express my appreciation to the Town of Canandaigua voters for their overwhelming support. I am encouraged and inspired by your warmth and generosity, and I thank you for trusting me to lead this great community.

During the six months leading up to Election Day, it was an honor and a privilege to meet so many of you. Thank you for welcoming me into your homes, your businesses and stopping by the town transfer station to share your thoughts and concerns.

One of the common comments heard throughout the campaign was a sincere appreciation for the quality of life we have here in Canandaigua. Residents expressed a strong desire for a town government willing to balance the benefits of growth with the preservation of our natural beauty and rural character.

Beginning Jan. 1, I will work with the Town Board and staff to improve our constituent services. Together we will adhere to the letter and spirit of true open government and make it easier for interested citizens to participate in our decision-making process.

Expect to see simple upgrades and changes within the first quarter of 2014. These upgrades may include better utilization of our website to send and receive information, an enhanced training program for all employees and elected officials and better accessibility to all town departments.

Long-range plans include providing citizens with a Supervisor’s Progress Report, forming citizens committees to study issues and establishing financial goals for each department.

Please help us reach these goals and become a better local government by getting involved. Attend meetings, volunteer to serve on a committee or board and share your comments and questions with your elected officials. And as always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or suggestions. My telephone number is (585) 394-5094, and my email address is

Wishing you a joyous and peaceful holiday season and a healthy and prosperous new year!

Pam Helming is Supervisor-elect for the Town of Canandaigua.

Reference the Online Article

ENDORSEMENT LETTER: Pam Helming, Keith Cutri well-qualified

MPNnow.COM Posted Oct. 18, 2013

I am voting for Pam Helming for Canandaigua Town Supervisor and Keith Cutri for Town Board. I encourage you to vote for Pam and Keith too!

Why? Pam is aware of our town’s threats and opportunities. Pam’s experience on the Town Board, the Planning Board and chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals has prepared her well to be our supervisor and representative on the Board of Supervisors. Pam has the tenacity to understand town and county issues as they present themselves and the patience to be an effective member of the Board of Supervisors.

Keith is new to elected office, but certainly not new to Canandaigua. Keith has over 28 years of government and private industry experience. He is a former Ontario County deputy sheriff and FBI agent. Keith is the current director of business development for Kodak Security Solutions. Keith’s experiences have prepared him well to be a member of our Town Board.

Pam and Keith are sincere, dedicated citizens who lead by example, encouraging all of us to be good stewards of our resources and our community. I believe they will be excellent representatives of the voters. Please consider voting for Pam and Keith too!

Richard McGavern


ENDORSEMENT LETTER: Cutri knows Town of Canandaigua’s issues

MPNnow.COM Posted Oct. 18, 2013

I am writing to show my support for Keith Cutri, who is running for Canandaigua Town Board this year.

Keith supports all the things that are good about Canandaigua. He is experienced, well-organized, articulate, fair and up-to-speed on community issues. His previous government service as an Ontario County sheriff's deputy and FBI agent has proven that he is a well-trusted and capable public servant.

Knowing him well, it is obvious that Keith is once again putting himself into the public sector for the good of our community. I wish him well and know that he has the support of so many people in the Town of Canandaigua. Thank you, Keith, for stepping up again to get the job done.

R. John Pelton


ENDORSEMENT LETTER: Helming, Cutri well-qualified for town positions

MPNnow.COM Posted Oct. 18, 2013

This election year, the Town of Canandaigua is fortunate to have two very qualified long-time residents running for town Government positions — Pam Helming for town supervisor and Keith Cutri for Town Board.

I can say with confidence that Pam and Keith are two of the most experienced and professional people on the ballot. Pam Helming has proven herself as a competent and well-prepared town board member over the past four years, providing leadership on numerous issues, ensuring that residents’ input is heard by their local government. Keith Cutri is an accomplished individual who has consistently excelled in both public service and private industry, bringing a well-balanced portfolio of knowledge and experience to the Town of Canandaigua.

Both candidates have made tremendous efforts to communicate their ideas with town residents through Internet website information, Facebook pages, YouTube videos, residential mailings, community meetings, campaign events and door-to-door conversations.

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, I would urge you to support Pam Helming for town supervisor and Keith Cutri for Town Board.

Steve LaCrosse


Helming prevails in Canandaigua Town Supervisor primaries

MPNnow.COM Posted Sep. 11, 2013
By Scott Pukos, staff writer Messenger Post

Canandaigua, N.Y. — There will be no drama in November’s Canandaigua town supervisor race. In fact, there will be just one name on the ballot: Pam Helming.

Helming, a Republican and Town Board member, ousted current supervisor and Democrat Sam Casella in Democratic and Independence Party primaries Tuesday.

According to the unofficial results from the Ontario County Board of Elections, Helming edged Casella 188-159 in the Democratic primary and 43-17 among the Independence voters.

Read more

Debate over Canandaigua Town Board minutes continues

MPNnow.COM posted: Jul 22, 2013
By Scott Pukos, staff writer Messenger Post

Canandaigua, N.Y. — Minutes from a June 18 Canandaigua Town Board meeting were once again tabled during the July 22 meeting. Dispute over the minutes - from the special meeting - began during a July 1 gathering when councilmembers Pam Helming and Greg Westbrook said a draft of minutes was passed around town hall that included incorrect statements that they say they did not make during the meeting. Town Supervisor Sam Casella said the minutes were accidently distributed by Town Clerk Judy Carson before they were reviewed. They were pulled back shortly after being handed out, he added.

Read more

Canandaigua Town Board focuses on staff turnover

MPNnow.COM posted: Jul 21, 2013
By Julie Sherwood, staff writer Messenger Post

Canandaigua, N.Y. — Personnel issues were the subject of a special Town Board meeting behind closed doors on Thursday and personnel is expected to be a focus of discussion at Monday's board meeting.

The town is losing two key players next month with the recently-announced resignations of Director of Development Tim Jensen and Code Enforcement Officer David LeClair. Jensen has accepted a position with Ontario County and LeClair will be code officer for the City of Canandaigua beginning Aug. 19. Earlier this year, the town lost LeClair's assistant, Tom McWilliams, who resigned from his job as a part-time code officer.

Read more

OUR VIEW: Open government an integral part of democracy

Messenger Post
Posted: Jul 14, 2013

MPNnow.COM — As we put away the fireworks for another year and settle into the dog days of summer, let’s not put away the spirit of the Fourth of July — and the passion we have for our freedoms as Americans.

In the Sunday, June 30 Messenger, we ran three stories about transparency that drive home the importance of open government. Today, we’d like to express our mission around freedom of information and freedom of the press.

One of those June 30 stories highlighted the Canandaigua town elections. It outlined how Supervisor Sam Casella’s challenger, Town Board member Pam Helming, and others running for the board are running on platforms of transparency — as in, they believe there isn’t enough of it.

We applaud the push for transparency because we believe that’s what keeps our freedoms intact. The fact that elections may hinge on platforms touting open government means our democracy is working.

Read more

Residents irked by town of Canandaigua agendas

MPNnow.COM posted: Jul 01, 2013
By Scott Pukos, staff writer Messenger Post

Canandaigua, N.Y. — The issue of transparency — specifically agenda information that is, or is not, provided to the public — continued to be raised Monday night at the Canandaigua Town Board meeting.

Resident Keith Cutri — who is vying for a spot on the board — was one of several residents who urged councilmembers to include more specifics on both meeting minutes and agendas.

“There isn't that continuity from board meeting to board meeting for citizens to know were you left off,” Cutri said.

Read more

A plea for more transparency in the town of Canandaigua

MPNnow.COM posted: Jun 30, 2013
By Scott Pukos, staff writer Messenger Post

Canandaigua, N.Y. — Following a decision by both the town of Canandaigua Republicans and Democrats to endorse current councilmember Pam Helming for supervisor, both parties indicated that more transparency is needed from elected officials.

This improvement includes going beyond meeting the minimum legal requirements, Helming said.

“I'd like to see us provide interested citizens an opportunity to register for, and receive, automatically generated email announcements,” she added.

Read more

Canandaigua Town Republican Committee Endorses Pam Helming for Supervisor, Keith Cutri for Town Board Member, and Judge David Prull for Town Justice.

Pam Helming, Keith Cutri, and Judge David Prull have received endorsements from the Canandaigua Town Republican Committee as their 2013 candidates for Town Supervisor, Town Board Member, and Town Justice, respectively.

The committee feels strongly that Helming's unique combination of government and private business experience has prepared her well for this leadership position. With experience in cost control management, land use planning and environmental management, Pam is poised to address the needs of the town. This includes implementing conservative fiscal practices and meeting the goals of our community approved comprehensive plan.

As a Town Board Member for the past four years, Helming has demonstrated her commitment to working for the people and getting the job done. Pam has also served on the Town’s Planning Board and is a past Chairperson for the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Helming has been honored by the Canandaigua City School District for her commitment to athletics, was an Athena Leadership Award Nominee, and serves on the Ontario County and Town of Canandaigua Republican Committees.

Cutri and Helming with NYS GOP Chairman Cox Pam stated, “I am grateful for the Republican Endorsement. It shows appreciation and respect for the work I've successfully completed during my term as a Town Board member. More importantly it shows confidence in my ability to lead the town. I am very excited about this opportunity & look forward to providing unbiased leadership".

Left to Right; Keith Cutri,Town Board Candidate, NYS GOP Chairman
Ed Cox, Pam Helming, Town Board member, and Greg Westbrook
Town Board member

Cutri has over 27 years of both government and private industry work. He brings a well-balanced cadre of experience to his first-time candidacy.

A former Ontario County Sheriff's Deputy and FBI Agent – now Director of Business Development for Kodak's Brand Protection Group - Cutri has an extensive computer background and is well-versed in utilizing technology to bring efficiencies into organizations. He is known within the community for his volunteer efforts and putting his skills to use for various school athletic organizations, local groups, businesses, and the Canandaigua City School District.

Helming and Cutri with Congressman Chris Collins

Cutri stated, “Attending the Town Board Meetings has been an eye-opening experience. As a result, I will be an advocate to build better communication between elected officials and the town residents. I would like to see more fiscal responsibility and transparency in our town government.”

Judge David Prull, a dedicated and respected Town Justice, has been endorsed for re-election. Prull is a professor emeritus at Finger Lakes Community College where he had served as chairperson of the Science and Technology Department for more than 32 years. He received the SUNY Chancellors award for Excellence in Teaching and is a former Town Councilman and Deputy Supervisor.

Keith Cutri and Pam Helming meet with Congressman
Chris Collins during a recent event.

Both parties endorse Pam Helming for Canandaigua supervisor

VICTORPOST.COM posted: Jun 01, 2013
By Scott Pukos, staff writer Messenger Post

Canandaigua, N.Y. — Both the Town of Canandaigua Democratic and Republican committees are endorsing current Town Board member Pam Helming, a Republican, as its candidate for town supervisor.

Read more

Cutri endorsed for Canandaigua Town Board by both parties posted: Jun 06, 2013
By Scott Pukos, staff writer Messenger Post

Canandaigua, N.Y. — After the Town of Canandaigua's Republican and Democratic committees both nominated Pam Helming for the town supervisor position currently held by Sam Casella, both also endorsed the same candidate for one of the two open Town Board spots.

Republican Keith Cutri — a former Ontario County deputy sheriff and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent —was endorsed by both groups for one of the two openings — currently held by Helming and Terry Fennelly. This will be Cutri’s first time running for Town Board.

Read more

Canandaigua town clerk appointed to new position posted: Jun 11, 2013
By Scott Pukos, staff writer Messenger Post

Canandaigua, N.Y. — A resolution to appoint the town clerk as the receiver of taxes and assessments passed unanimously Monday night during a Canandaigua Town Board meeting.

The Town Board is required to create this position as part of New York State Town Law. Naming the clerk to this position will eliminate the need to hire an additional person, Town Board members said.

“On the 2014 budget, the town taxpayers will see a savings of about $7,000 when the current tax collector position is eliminated,” said Councilmember Pam Helming.

Read more