Three throw hat in ring to fill empty Ward 5 Seat A slot

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ROCHESTER - The City Council heard three statements of interest from candidates seeking to fill the vacated Ward 5 Seat A seat that was left open with the removal of former Councilor Chris Rice last month.

The candidates included Alexander de Geofroy, Karen Stokes, and Susan J. Rice.

Appearing remotely, Alexander de Geofroy spoke about his call to service, military experience, and desire to "give back" to the community.

"I'd like to serve on City Council to help ensure that our community continues to thrive, that our local economy will continue to grow and adapt to the changing world around us, that Rochester will always be a great place to raise a family, with skilled professionals providing the services we need to keep our community safe and operating smoothly, and that my two young daughters, along with all of our city's children, will have the same opportunities I had to thrive and the desire to serve," said de Geofroy.

Karen Stokes, who has served as a member of the School Board for the past 11 years, said she chooses to serve the community to be "part of the solution, not the problem."

"I think it's important to be a part of the change in your city," said Stokes. "I've always been open to speaking to people via the phone or through email. Stakeholder input, as we know, is very important and sometimes difficult and I've proven through my seat on the School Board that I'm open to input... As a taxpayer, I feel it's important to ensure that the citizens of Rochester are not burdened by unnecessary taxes... working within our limits is essential to keeping our city thriving."Susan Rice spoke about her experience as a public employee and an appointed member of several boards and commissions throughout the years. Rice stated that she is "committed to working for a vibrant Rochester."

"As a councilor, I would bring my experience as a prior elected and appointed official and also a former public employee," said Rice. "In these positions, I have listened, applied critical thinking skills, built true and long-lasting relationships with those around me, and shown leadership to move forward in a positive direction. Above all, I would never stop learning and would apply what I have learned to make Rochester a better place to live and work. I am committed to these principles and practices..."

Voters can watch the interviews on the city's website.

According to Mayor Paul Callaghan, the City Council will appoint one of the three candidates on July 5at the next regular City Council meeting.

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