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Warren announces transition team
by Sean Carroll
Rochester, N.Y. -- Mayor-elect Lovely Warren has about fifty days before she is sworn in as Rochester's next Mayor and on Wednesday she announced the team that will help her through this transition process.
The co-chairs of her team are Dr. Ogilvie and Christopher Thomas. Dr. Ogilvie is the Dean and a professor of Business Strategy and Urban Entrepreneurship at the Saunders College of Business at R.I.T. Thomas is a lawyer and partner at Nixon Peabody. Both are volunteering their time for this transition.
Warren also announced that the transition team has retained Strategic Community Intervention (SCI) a management consultant firm founded by former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson. Current Mayor Tom Richards will serve as a special advisor to the transition and Warren spoke of having already consulted former mayor and current Lt. Governor Bob Duffy.
The team plans to fill about 77 positions and Warren said she had only about five specific people in mind for certain positions. Others are encouraged to apply at her transition office that is scheduled to open on Monday on the fourth floor of the Ellwanger Building at 39 State Street in Rochester; that includes current city employees and outside applicants.
"We're open to sitting down with people that would like to continue to work here at City Hall but also those that are applying for the first time," explained Warren. "I will not waste anybody's time in posting a position or asking them to interview if I know that that position is already filled and I have someone in mind for it."
The transition team's office was donated to her campaign and funds from the campaign will also go toward funding a new website, www.warrentransition.com.
Warren was asked repeatedly about the future of Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard. Police-community relations were an issue during her campaign and on Wednesday it was evident that Warren was not going to discuss his future openly just yet.
"The transition team has not decided what personnel matters we will be talking about over the next couple of weeks," responded Warren when asked at first.
"I think that safety is our number one concern for our community," she said when asked again. "For me if the police chief wants to remain we will talk about that but I know that we have some community-police relationships that we need to prepare and build upon and so I'll be looking for the best person to lead our city when it comes down to public safety."
With many advisors at the table 13WHAM also asked Warren how she would balance campaign promises with any advice or guidance from her transition team that ran contrary to those pledges.
"This is really about what the Citizens of Rochester wants to see in providing the best leadership and the best opportunities for them," Warren replied. "I've set forth my agenda and my plans on my website and talked about them during the campaign and I maintain that I will keep those pledges. There may be some things that we need to work toward over the next administration but there are things I'm definitely committed to."