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Rochester's mayor is calling for oversight to a bill that will release $435 million for the second phase of the Rochester City School District's school modernization project.
Mayor Lovely Warren isn't taking it lightly that the bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Joe Morelle, was filed without the city's say.
"This is the first time that I remember something that affects the community to this magnitude not being shared with the sitting mayor before being filed. I find that to be disrespectful and I find that to be uncalled for," said Mayor Warren, D-Rochester.
Warren and City Council President Loretta Scott believe the bill is flawed and lacks necessary oversight.
The bill will authorize the $435 million for the district's Facilities Modernization Program, but the problem is what happened with the $300 million-plus allotted for phase one. The plan calls for renovating up to 25 Rochester district schools.
Warren and Scott say money was mishandled, poor decisions were made and allegedly false reports were being filed on behalf of minority and women-owned businesses. The FBI is currently investigating a lot of that.
"If you want to look back at the old ICO or the current ICO that's under investigation right now, they paid him $750,000. There�s no monetary sanction, there's no criminal sanctions in the legislation, so what is the tax payer's safeguard," said Warren.
Scott and Warren said they want changes to the bill that will provide oversight to tax payer dollars. They also want the current project manager's name cleared by the FBI before continuing on to the next phase.
"I don't believe that what the mayor has asked for is unreasonable. It does not provide a hardship for anyone; instead, it does provide protection," said Scott.
City leaders said they are in full support of the project, but think changes to the bill are necessary.
- See more at: http://rochester.twcnews.com/content/news/745415/mayor-says-bill-for-next-phase-of-modernization-in-rochester-city-schools-is-flawed/#sthash.zRwlNkHt.dpuf