City appeals court decision; still fighting for November referendum

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The City of Rochester is appealing a court’s ruling to remove a November referendum from voter’s ballots.

State Supreme Court Justice J. Scott Odorisi ruled “the state, not the city, occupies the entire field of public education.”

A city attorney says that is not the case. They are pointing to education commissioners’ salaries as evidence of this.

“The salary issue is but one example to indicate that the judge’s ruling was an error because salaries are not dictated by state law, salaries are dictated by local law,” said Timothy Curtin, City of Rochester law department.

The judge also ruled on a letter sent to voters by the mayor. The judge said: “the letter’s message is a loud and clear endorsement of the referendum.”

But the city claims there is no evidence to prove this.

“But he didn’t like the overall tone. but the overall tone is not a judicial standard. so we’re gonna hold them to appropriate judicial standards and if he has evidence the fact that the letter is advocacy, which he never did, then perhaps he’s ruling, it would not be upheld,” said Curtin.

The city wants the questions back on the ballot. City attorneys say they are confident they have the facts and background to overturn the court’s ruling.

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