Bello blasts GOP-led Monroe County Legislature over ‘attempted power grab,’ GOP says Bello is ‘gaslighting’

Local Politics

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello is calling on the Republican majority in the Monroe County Legislature to “end its political games” after its “latest effort to roadblock” his administration — claims that Republican legislators dispute.

Bello, a Democrat, says the GOP-led legislature is seeking to reverse 30 years or legislative practices that would “drastically change the way the Monroe County government operates.”

The county executive says the “CABLE Act 2.0” would eliminate his ability to “execute post-adoption amendments and modifications to contract authorizations, funding receipts, grant acceptances, and agreement authorizations” and to “terminate or modify the program, and where applicable, to terminate or abolish some or all portions funded under such program” when accepting funding. 

GOP leaders in the Legislature say Bello’s “unfounded outburst in response to our request is more alike to an irrational teenage tantrum than an elected leader.” They say their letter was a simple request, not akin to the CABLE Act, and they challenged Bello to produce proof otherwise.

MORE | Monroe County Legislature withdraws controversial CABLE Act

Bello says the county executive’s office has been granted these authorities to “protect the taxpayers by ensuring that the County is not obligated to continue to implement a program if funding were to cease.” Bello says this has been how the county government has operated, under both parties, since at least 1988.

“Yet again, the Republican Majority Caucus is putting politics ahead of the people they were elected to represent. This effort would undo decades of practice and would drastically slow down county government by adding another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy,” Bello said in a press release. “At a time when our community is still dealing with the fallout from COVID-19, including a weakened local economy, a projected county budget deficit and thousands of people facing eviction or foreclosure, we need a county legislature that will work towards solutions on the issues that matter the most, not petty politics.”

Bello says that in addition to exposing taxpayers to unnecessary spending to cover grant cuts, this change would have a negative effect on the economy, jobs, county projects and the welfare of Monroe County residents.  He says Requiring legislature approval for routine contract changes will not only hurt local contractors working on county projects, it will also cause unnecessary delays, increase cost to Monroe taxpayers and disrupt the lives of county residents while capital projects are stalled.

“Monroe County residents rejected this type of political gamesmanship just last year when they elected me County Executive, but clearly the leadership of the Republican Majority did not get the message,” Bello said. “If they truly cared about the taxpayers of our community, Majority Leader Steve Brew, President Dr. Joe Carbone and the Republican Majority Caucus would end their partisan ways of the past.”

Monroe County Legislature Majority Leader Steve Brew responded in a statement Tuesday:

“Adam Bello is underestimating your intelligence by gaslighting you into thinking our letter is anything more than a simple request. This was a letter, not the CABLE Act, and I challenge Adam Bello to produce proof to the contrary.

In my letter, I stated that the Legislature feels less like a collaborative partner and more like the parent of a teenager. Adam Bello’s unfounded outburst in response to our request is more alike to an irrational teenage tantrum than an elected leader.

Adam Bello continues to demonstrate a complete lack of respect for the legislative process and wants to wield the same unchecked power as Governor Cuomo. So far, he has used his power to destroy the Democratic Caucus within the Monroe County Legislature, undermine free and fair elections, and lead the County towards financial ruin. We need some adults in the room to make sure taxpayers are protected. That is why I, along with President Carbone, Minority Leader Vincent Felder, and Black & Asian Caucus Leader Ernest Flagler-Mitchell, have been holding regular bi-partisan leadership meetings to ensure County government continues to function without interruption.

Taxpayers should question why Adam Bello is hell-bent on spending their money without any oversight.” 

Last November, the Monroe County Legislature withdrew the controversial CABLE Act. At the time Bello said at the time it was a GOP-attempt to reduce the power of the county executive’s office after he won the election.

The original CABLE Act would’ve cost Bello his authority to create new positions and adjust county salaries. It also would reduce Bello’s spending authority to $5,000 whereas the previous county executive, Republican Cheryl Dinolfo was allotted up to $20,000 without legislature approval. Bello’s budget would’ve also been due a month earlier and the legislature would take away oversight on public works contracts and purchasing.

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