Chapter Statement: Bello, Yudelson, and Maffucci Side With Republican Caucus on Public Power, Leaving Constituents at the Mercy of RG&E’s Corporate Greed

We are disappointed that the majority-Democratic Monroe County Legislature failed to pass a public utility implementation study this week. For years, the Rochester for Energy Democracy coalition has heard from ratepayers about billing errors, shutoffs, and poor customer service. These problems have been widely reported in local news; and despite RG&E’s attempts at public relations, the situation has not improved. Yet over the next three years, ratepayers will experience double-digit hikes in their cost of service.

County Executive Adam Bello

A public utility promises affordability, accountability, local economic benefit, and a just transition to green energy. Fairport residents—beneficiaries of the public utility Fairport Electric—pay seventy percent less for electricity than those served by RG&E. As a corporation, RG&E exists for the accumulation of profit. In 2022, this amounted to $173 million leaving the community for the pockets of wealthy multinational investors. A public utility, in contrast, is focused on delivering necessary resources to the community at a reasonable price.

In opposing the study, County Executive Adam Bello, along with Legislators Michael Yudelson, Howard Maffucci, and the entire Republican caucus, have sided with RG&E’s corporate lobbyists over their constituents. Instead of getting the facts, Bello has resorted to fearmongering with baseless concerns. The influence of Bello and associate Bob Duffy over the County Legislature (Duffy receives over $200,000 a year to serve on the board of RG&E’s parent company, Avangrid) has subverted the will of the people.

Prior to Bello’s November reelection, our Electoral Working Group stated:

“Like all liberals, Adam Bello views the status quo as basically sound. Good government for [him] consists of tinkering around the edges of a functioning liberal order to ensure everyone has equal access to liberal prosperity. However, the status quo is not sound, and the liberal order is not functioning. … This status quo is unsustainable. ROC DSA recommends: Leave Blank.”

Bello’s opposition to even studying an alternative to RG&E only affirms the validity of this assessment. This decision will be remembered by voters at the next ballot box. We thank the Legislators and City Councilmembers who have supported, and continue to support, a public utility.

While the fight for a public utility has been delayed, it has not been stopped. ROC DSA is invested in the fight for accessible resources for everyone regardless of wealth. RG&E’s exploitative practices are but a manifestation of all production and distribution under capitalism. The growing voice of the people demonstrates they will no longer tolerate these circumstances. We shall prevail.

In Solidarity,
ROC DSA Steering Committee

Ratepayers rally for a public utility at the County Building on April 5

1 comment on “Chapter Statement: Bello, Yudelson, and Maffucci Side With Republican Caucus on Public Power, Leaving Constituents at the Mercy of RG&E’s Corporate Greed”

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  • William Forrest
    April 19, 2024 11:57 am

    It’s so sad that our elected Democrats won’t support the people of Monroe County in this effort to bring reasonably priced power to our people. Even sadder that those same Democrats prevent any changes to their two-party monopoly on political power.