Public safety, immigration on minds of Monroe County voters ahead of Election Day

Voters sound off ahead of election day

Voters sound off ahead of election day

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – One day before the polls open for early voting, voters are speaking out after Thursday night’s debate between Democratic Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Republican challenger Mark Assini.

Tom Heagerty has lived in Pittsford all his life and said that he knows how complex solving the immigration issue will be at the local level.

“It’s nice to get asylum-seekers here but if there is no room and all they are going to do is end up sleeping in the streets, that doesn’t bode well for any of us,” Heagerty said.

That’s why he’d like to see the county get some help.

“The federal government needs to do a little more. They are kind of dumping everything on the local governments here,” Heagerty said.

MORE: Monroe County welcomes 77 asylum seekers, with more on the way

What to do about asylum-seekers was just one of many issues the candidates sparred over Thursday night.

“We have people going to bed homeless, hungry, and afraid in our own community, and we prioritize people at the Holiday Inn, that people are getting three meals a day and a roof over their head,” Assini, a former Gates town supervisor, said.

But according to Bello, “Many counties across the state, like Onondaga County, Rockland County, Orange County, that straight up tried to prohibit it as my opponent says they can do, all that ended up happening was that those counties spent a lot of money in legal fees and asylum-seekers were relocated to their counties.”

When voters like Erin Crowley head to the ballot box, the economy will be top of mind.

“We have some of the best patents and tech out there in the world, and what we really need is economic development into those patents, into those licenses,” Crowley said.

She said that she co-owns a company headquartered in Rochester that helps get tech companies get off the ground.

“We need politicians to help support us rebuild the city through transferring of tax money and supporting of funding, which is not available currently,” Crowley said.

But according to voters like Heagerty, improving public safety will overshadow everything this election year.

“Between shootings, and assaults, and violent actions, and car thefts, yeah absolutely, concerned about that,” Heagerty said.

A guide to early voting can be found here.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7.