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Monroe County Dems Elect President After Some Infighting

Democrats have gained the majority in the Legislature. However, their quest to find a suitable leader hit several roadblocks before finally selecting Yversha Roman in a 16-13 vote.


After taking the President’s chair, Roman shared the appointment of Vice President Mercedes Vazquez and the selection of new Majority Leader Michael Yudelson.


“Last night, we made history. I want to thank each of the 15 Legislators who came together for the betterment of our community, party, and constituents. I look forward to partnering with Majority Leader Yudelson, Vice President Vazquez Simmons, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I pledge to continue to work alongside each of you; I will choose to have an open door, mind, and heart so we can all collaborate as we seek to move Monroe County forward,” said Roman.



At their organizational meeting Tuesday, the Dems held two votes and both times failed to elect a president to fill the position held for the last two years by Sabrina LaMar, who lost her seat to new-comer Rose Bonnick.


An organizational meeting is a crucial event that sets the tone for the functioning of any legislative body. It is a day filled with formalities and procedures that establish the structure and hierarchy within the organization. Unfortunately, the organizational meeting on Tuesday was a flop.


After Democrats elected Albert Blankley as the temporary president, members gathered to elect a president. Unfortunately, none of the nominees managed to secure the necessary 15 votes.


In the initial round, Democrat Yversha Roman and Republican Jackie Smith both received 13 votes, while Democrat Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons obtained two votes, with one legislator choosing to abstain. In the subsequent vote, Vazquez-Simmons was not nominated, and the two individuals who had supported her in the first round, Rachel Barnhart and Vazquez-Simmons herself, abstained from voting. This resulted in a tally of 14 votes for Roman and 13 for Smith.


"The process for electing the President of the Legislature is not the proper venue for airing grievances or making demands that are outside of the purview of the legislature,” Roman posted on social media.


“Building, or repairing, a relationship with the County Executive and the administration cannot be accomplished by holding the organization of the legislature hostage. It is clear these legislators have an ax to grind with the administration, and it is clear they are looking for an easy way out. I will not, and cannot, solve that problem for them.”


“I will say again what I have said many times throughout this process - I am proud of the work Democratic Legislators have done and will continue to do, having difficult conversations within the caucus relating to pressing concerns that face our entire community, understanding that our concerns and constituencies differ.”


“I am proud of the role I have played in those conversations, as a leader and a bridge between members. And finally, I look forward to working collaboratively with the County Executive and my fellow Legislators hopefully as the next President of the Legislature to deliver these important resources, and more, for our community,"


The conflict within the democratic party Legislator could stem from the Monroe County Legislature approving a 23 to 6 vote transferring $1.9 million out of the Department of Human Services to fund golf courses, parks, and the zoo.  Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons stated that she voted against this transfer of funds. Yet, Yversha Roman voted for it.


"I believe that the "need" to elect Ms. Roman is one stated in the letter her "Latinx" leaders proposed - to oversee and steer where the $144 MILLION DOLLARS in ARPA funding… which the Legislature President can fast track approval for funding immediately,” Vazquez Simmons said.


“I made the decision to run for President myself after having my request(s) for any funding directly related to my district dismissed or ignored as poverty continues to escalate.”


ARPA, The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package or American Rescue Plan, is a US $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by Congress on March 11, 2021 to speed up the country's recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recession.


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Are Barnhart and Vasquez-Simmons sophisticated conspirators regarding criminal activity?? What happened to all of the charges of unethical 

and criminal behavior??? Did it all magically disappear?? >>>


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