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Messenger Post Newspapers (NY


Estimated printed pages: 5
November 10, 2005
Section: Local News
Memo:Photo:111619,left,; Democrats sweep town elections and take control of town
government. By LINDA QUINLAN / It was perhaps the upset of
the local 2005 elections.Democratic town leader Adam Bello said he

'It's going to be a new town'
Democrats sweep town elections and take control of town government.
It was perhaps the upset of the local 2005 elections.
Democratic town leader Adam Bello said he knew it right from the beginning.
"We had the better candidates and the better message, " said Bello, who saw all Democratic
candidates for elective office in Irondequoit win Tuesday night.
It was a blow for Republicans, who lost the town's top post. Long-term incumbent David Schantz
lost his bid for re-election for supervisor by 653 votes of the 14,921 cast.
While Bello may have been confident, even the newly elected supervisor, Mary Ellen Heyman,
admitted she was blown away.
"Who knew? " she said early Tuesday night, as the returns started falling her way. "I can't
believe this. I guess it's just a testament to how much this town needed a change. "
"We really want to thank the voters for wanting a change, " added Gail Bello, who won a seat on
the Town Board along with Debbie Evans. "It's going to be a new town. "
Gail Bello (who happens to be Adam's mother), attributed the win to "outworking the other guys,
" and listening to the residents of Irondequoit.
"The Republicans ... I don't think they took us seriously, " Gail Bello said.
They ousted three incumbent Republican leaders from Town Board, including Schantz. Rudy
Cali and Graceann Frederico also lost their seats.
Schantz has served as supervisor for eight years, and Cali has served even longer, since 1996.
Frederico is completing her first four-year term on the board.
"We remain the party of stable taxes and we will regain Town Hall in two years, " said Justin
Roj, Republican town leader for Irondequoit. He attributed the loss to low voter turnout and
negative campaigning.
He pointed specifically to fliers the Democrats sent out, highlighting
promises they said the Republican incumbents failed to keep, and
hiring practices at Town Hall. They questioned why some town
departments do not reside in the community.
"The challenge now is for the Democrats to lead, " Roj said. "It remains to be seen whether they
can deliver. "
Schantz was more philosophical.
"The voters spoke; that's what it's all about, " he said. "I had eight great years. It was an
incredible honor to serve the community. "
He said he wishes the new administration well.
Admitting that she was still in shock even after the votes were counted, Heyman said she expects
to hit the ground running and begin pulling together a transition team.
"I'm in shock that I won, that all three of us won, " Heyman said, referring to Gail Bello and
"I think all of us were fighting hard the whole time ... hoping at least one of us got in, " Evans
"But we wanted to win as a team, " Gail Bello said.
And they did.
Heyman said she will approach the new job first by learning how Town Hall operates and
looking at how services are provided.
"We've really got to get a handle on finances and the big picture, " she said, "but our priority will
be on understanding and working with the people. "
There will be a lot of issues to look at, Heyman added, but high on the agenda will likely be
updating town libraries and building a community center.
Evans said the team will also work to fill vacancies in business districts and bring in new
business, keeping young families in the area, attracting new families to Irondequoit, and taking
care of seniors and the poor.
To speculation that Democrats worked with Irondequoit Citizens for Better Government, a
political group spearheaded by former Republican Councilman Richard Barone, Heyman said the
Democrats ran their own campaign. Barone's group purchased and published a series of ads and
even a billboard, claiming that the current administration had somehow mismanaged the town.
"We tried to work a campaign through the Democratic committee that was honest and one-on-
one with the people, " Heyman said.
She said she and her running mates walked to almost every house in town, "and the last couple of
weeks, people would look at me and know my name ... We didn't take any vote for granted. "
She said the Republicans' downfall may have been that they "marginalized some people along
the way and, unfortunately, made some enemies. "
Schantz said he has never gone into an election "assuming anything in particular, " but that he
did try to run a clean campaign and let the voters make the decision.
"I just hope the projects we started will carry through to fruition, " Schantz said, referring to
projects like reconstruction of Route 590 into Sea Breeze and the transformation of the former
Irondequoit Mall into Medley Centre.
"I hope the town doesn't lose the momentum that has been started and that the new
administration carries through, " Schantz said.
He added that he will look forward to having more time to spend with his family, and that he has
had offers "from various private sector folks. "
A retired West Irondequoit teacher, Schantz is 63.
Heyman, 48, has spent most of her career working as an office manager or administrative
assistant for various ophthalmologists in the area, and has been at ViaHealth's Rochester General
Hospital for six years. She has lived in Irondequoit for about 25 years, been involved with
Irondequoit Volunteer Ambulance and served on the East Irondequoit Board of Education for 10
As supervisor, which carries a two-year term, she will earn 64,890 annually.
Evans and Gail Bello will earn 12,340 per year for their part-time work on the Town Board.
Gail Bello, 52, is a teacher in the East Irondequoit School District.
Evans, 39, another newcomer, is known in the community as the founder and president of the
Irondequoit Community Cupboard.
Cali, 65, was seeking his third term Town Board. Frederico, 37, said during her campaign that
she was most proud of the fact that property values in the town have been increasing and of her
efforts as chairwoman of the town's beautification committee.
Incumbent Irondequoit Town Justices Joe Genier, running with Democrat and Conservative
party endorsements, and John DeMarco, who ran on the Republican, Conservative and
Independence Party lines, basically ran unopposed and were reelected to their fourth and second
terms on the town bench, respectively.
They did receive an 11th-hour challenge from write-in candidate Fortunato Cupido, but write-in
votes are not counted on election night.
Town Justices earn an annual salary of 31,770.
Fast facts: Election results
According to complete but unofficial results from the Monroe County Board of Elections, the
following are the vote tallies for Irondequoit candidates for supervisor, Town Board and town
David Schantz, R, C, 7,134 votes or 48 percent
Mary Ellen Heyman, D, 7,787 votes, or 52 percent
Town Board:
Graceann Frederico, R, C, 6,000 votes, or 22 percent
Rudy Cali, R, C, 5,850 votes or 21 percent
Gail Bello, D, Independence, Working Families, 8,114 votes, or 30 percent
Debbie Evans, D, Working Families, 7,759 votes, or 28 percent
Town Justice:
Joe Genier, D, C, 9,548 votes or 52 percent
John DeMarco, R, Independence, C, 8,759 votes or 48 percent

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