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Block club meeting draws only one mayoral candidate

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

For Republican mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez, a non-appearance Tuesday night by Mayor Byron Brown gave him an undisturbed chance to pitch his message at the Judges Row Block Club.

The block club invited the two mayoral candidates to last night's annual meeting in St. Michael and All Angels Church in the city's northeast corner.

The club gave the GOP candidate a lot of time to talk and then take questions on his views.

Rodriguez said the issues are still schools, crime and jobs. He also wants a residency requirement for cops to make them a part of the city, its problems and its tax base.

"We need police officers living in our city," Rodriguez told the audience.

"It works in Williamsville, Amherst, Hamburg, they have residency requirements. Why can't we?"

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news
Rodriguez answered questions from members of the Judges Row Block Club

Rodriguez continues his push for the mayor to take over the school system, citing major improvements in results in New York City and Yonkers where the mayor controls the school system.

If elected, he says Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda would be gone because he doesn't have an urgency to do something about crime and violence problems.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.