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Irondequoit Post
  • Alesi, Wilmot running to represent State Senate's 55th District

  • The district encompasses much of suburban Monroe County.

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  • CANDIDATE NAME Jim Alesi
    HOMETOWN
    East Rochester
    AGE
    62
    OCCUPATION
    State Senator
    EDUCATION
    Bachelor’s degree, St. John Fisher College
    FAMILY
    Single
    WEBSITE
    www.nysenate.gov/senator/james-s-alesi
    BALLOT LINES
    Republican, Conservative, Independence
    Why did you choose to run, or run again, this year?
    “I come from a business background, and have taken the experience I’ve gained, and my life experience, and brought that to Albany years ago (he’s seeking his eighth term). I’m also actively involved in community ... and have developed a complete awareness for who it is I’m serving.”
    Where do you stand on the state budget?
    “I’m a strong believer in zero based budgeting, where you have to justify every penny spent based on the prior year ... We have to go back to where we departed from two years ago, when the state budget was roughly $122 billion; now it’s $137 billion ... We don’t need a cap, we need a 12 percent cut.”
    How would you curb taxes and spending?
    “There are ways the budget grows; New York State’s budget has grown about 3.2 percent; nationally, budgets have grown five percent. Increased taxes generally come from home-rule messages for things like Monroe County’s sales tax revenue sharing (program).”
    How could you cut state mandates?
    “When Senate Republicans were in the majority, we implemented moratorium on unfunded mandates; that was part of our business growth plan ... these are very difficult times for incumbents, but there are good incumbents (like me) that know the answers and are fighting like crazy to get things done.”
    Where do you stand on mayoral control of the Rochester School District?
    “You have to take a comprehensive approach; it’s not all the city school district. The community can’t ignore (the city’s) crime, poverty, the epidemic teen pregnancy, the drugs.”
    CANDIDATE NAME Mary Wilmot
    HOMETOWN
    Pittsford
    AGE
    46
    OCCUPATION
    Resigned as a regional director for the state governor’s office
    EDUCATION
    Master’s in education, Nazareth College
    FAMILY
    Two children
    WEBSITE
    www.MaryWilmot2010.com
    BALLOT LINES Democrat
    Why did you choose to run, or run again, this year?
    “I got into the race because I am scared that if we can’t grow jobs, and balance the state budget, we are all in trouble ... I’ve become more and more concerned about how dysfunctional the state government is, about the arguing and partisan politics, and think we need a change ... People are just frightened; they don’t feel like anyone is hearing them.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Where do you stand on the state budget?
    “The state budget not sustainable. I’m in favor of a no-increase cap and providing mandate relief along with it. The state should only spend no more than it brings in, and must pay down some debt. We can no longer tax people; they are tapped out.”
    How would you curb taxes and spending?
    “We have sit down with the unions and say we’re sorry, but that we over-promised; we also have to look at Medicaid — we over-promised there as well. We need to look at consolidating state agencies, and possibly reducing the state work force by five percent. We need to cut spending so we can eventually cut taxes.”
    How could you cut state mandates?
    “We should cap property taxes and repeal laws that don’t take into account the community’s ability to pay; we need to look at taking some laws off the table, rather than passing more.”
    Where do you stand on mayoral control of the Rochester School District?
    “We have a very dysfunctional district; the Rochester Business Alliance and are college presidents are on board with (the need for) reform. It’s time now; we can’t wait, (and we) can’t do much more harm by changing things ... We don’t need more money, but we need to spend it in the right areas.”
     

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