CAN WARREN ADMINISTRATION BE SAVED?
It’s been a tough year for Lovely Warren, bookended by the paired scandals of Uncle Reggie and Adam McFadden.
Caught in some nepotism and a lie to begin her first year as mayor, she now ends that year with an embarrassing federal rebuff of an effort to pay off a political ally.
Things haven’t gone well.
That’s manifest in a wholesale defection of mainstream Democrats who are running around in a funk, predicting doom and gloom for the city, and doing everything they can to talk Jim Sheppard into running for mayor.
Sheppard is, of course, the wildly popular police chief who was pushed out by Lovely Warren because he is wildly popular and people want him to run for mayor.
Simply put, all the smiling guys in suits think that Lovely Warren’s first year in office has been a complete disaster, and they fear that, having now ruined her chances of going to Congress by her divisiveness, she is mayor for life.
That may be so.
Personally, I’m going to do everything I can over the next three years to make sure voters have a true choice when the next mayoral election rolls around.
But that’s not for three years.
And writing off this mayor, and pinning all our hopes on an as-yet-unidentified mystery candidate, doesn’t make much sense.
Whatever happens in the future, we’ve got to live in the now. We’ve got to make now work.
For that to happen, both sides are going to have to rethink things.
Lovely Warren is going to have to come down off her throne, and those who secretly oppose her are going to have to give her another chance.
For all this talk of bridge building, we actually might need to build a few.
For the next three – or 30 – years to be good years for Rochester, Lovely Warren must be a successful mayor. Thus far, objectively, that has not happened. Fortunately, there is no reason why that can’t be turned around.
But the mayor will have to admit to herself that things haven’t worked, not to run herself down, but to understand that she must try something different. Leadership style is sometimes developed through trial and error, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The mayor has tried a certain approach, and it’s not worked well. Not a problem. Just try another approach.
Improve and fine tune, that’s the nature of personal growth. You don’t have to announce it to anybody, you just need to do it.
The question echoing around the region’s leaders is: Is the problem Lovely, or the people she’s surrounded herself with? Is she so sure of herself that nobody can talk any sense into her, or are the people around her steering her into foolishness?
Lovely needs to rethink her approach to being mayor, because this one isn’t working.
Personally, I think she is completely capable of doing that. She is not a dumb person, and she has had the privilege of great preparation. She has seen and worked with leaders, and had leadership responsibilities herself. She is up to this. It isn’t over her head.
She just needs to humble herself enough recognize the need to grow and improve.
And on the other side of the equation, the rest of us need to give her another chance. The big people with the big jobs, and we regular people with our regular lives.
The rest of the region’s power structure must keep doors open to an improved Warren administration, and we regular people must not write her off. Lovely can’t turn into a punch line. She can’t become a joke. We can’t turn our backs on her.
Because we need a mayor now.
The call yesterday by the Obama Administration for the immediately firing of Warren pal Adam McFadden from the chairmanship of the Rochester Housing Authority was a thundering rebuke. It essentially declared illegitimate a months-long Warren effort to stack the RHA board and hire McFadden.
That is a low point in any administration.
And she’s been there not quite a year.
So what do you do the morning after?
Do you throw up your hands and despair? Do you go through one more round of City Hall lies? Do you linger over the post-mortem of a botched patronage ploy?
Or do you dust yourself off, recognize that we’re stuck with each other, and try to make a go of it?
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2014