Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 24, 2015 · Page A4
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page A4

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Page A4
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On Sunday, there will be a major m ayoral e lection in B orgne, a pretty little village on the northern coast of Haiti. One of the candidates — Estimable Francius Dauphin — has enthusiastic support from Honeoye Falls, a pretty little village on the southern border of Monroe Count y. D auphin is quite tall a nd towered over most of t he people who gathered around him after a dinner of spaghetti and rice and beans at the Mendon Community Center in June. He was visiting to celebrate the Sister Cities relationship between Borgne and Honeoye Falls. He resembled “a sequoia standing in a field of bonsai trees,” said Honeoye Falls resident Bill Nies, who is 6 -feet-3 himself. “But his real stature is the height he hides within.” Many shook Dauphin’s hand, slapped him on the back and wished him good luck in the election that will take place 1,700 miles away this Sunday. I t will be the first mayoral election in Borgne s ince the earthquake struck Haiti in 2010. Haitian President Michel Martelly canceled elect ions scheduled for 2012, and his government installed local leaders of its choosing. On Sunday, Borgne will have the c hance to select its own l eader again. Dauphin, who goes by “Johnny,” caught the political bug from his high school math teacher w ho was fighting to bring d emocracy to Haiti in the 1980s and early 1990s. He joined this teacher in the pro-democracy group Makandal during Haiti’s f irst presidential elect ions, which resulted in the election of Jean- Bertrand Aristide. Aristide was later deposed in acoup, and Dauphin f ought to help Haiti’s democratically elected president return to power. Dauphin worked as a teacher and spearheaded m any community projects for youths. He worked with Boy Scouts and was a soccer coach. H e educated Borgne about health technologies that improved water quality and sanitation. As a result of these efforts, afarmers organization asked him to run for mayor in 2005. He is not part of the wealthy class t hat holds most political p ower in Haiti, and therefore was hesitant. He agreed to join a cartel (in Haiti, local leaders run in groups) and ran for assist ant mayor. His slate w on, and he took office in 2006. During his term, Dauphin’s cartel secured funding for major road r epairs. They paved dirt r oads in Borgne for the first time and enlarged a branch of a nearby river to prevent flooding. They were able to get a few s olar lamps, built a school and launched the Sister Cities relationship with Honeoye Falls. “Dauphin will walk for days on footpaths, in r ain, mud, crossing rivers up to his waist, and sleeping on floors or in tents without any pad- d ing to meet with groups out in the hill about their ideas and plans,” said Sarah Brownell, a Roche ster Institute of Technology lecturer who became friends with Dauphin while living in Haiti and continues to work w ith him on development p rojects. “He doesn’t have the fancy house and car of most politicians, but he is the kind of person who can make amaz- i ng things happen with v ery few resources — through his connections, friendships and ability to articulate a positive vision for Haiti.” S ome of those connec- t ions live in Honeoye Falls, like Joan Haviland, who is president of the nonprofit Friends of Borgne. Friends of Borgne funds two schools and scholarships and meals for students. It also funds a sewing center, a computer program and a traveling librarian who loads books on a donkey and carries them to different schools and neighborhoods. Its newest project is an animal husbandry p rogram that buys pigs for young adults and o ffers them lessons on raising and breeding them. When the pig has a litter, its owner passes a long one of the female babies to another young adult. Dauphin handles the logistics for that program and others. “ I am really rooting f or Johnny,” Haviland said. “He has been so active and dedicated.” Upheaval, uncertainty and some violence have p lagued the elections in H aiti, which also will elect a president this year. Protests erupted during the first round of elections in August, led b y people who doubt the f airness of the process. Dauphin has alleged that some of his supporters were victims of corrupt electoral officials who assigned them to voting places that were a two- to four-hour walk away, rather than polling sites c lose to home. If time and money weren’t an object, Honeoye Falls Mayor Rick Milne said he would like to be in Borgne, encouraging people to make the effort to vote for Dauphin. “ If I had the wherewithal to take a couple w eeks off and campaign for Johnny, that would be agreat thing,” he said. Alanguage barrier m ight prevent much discussion with voters, but he could smile and pass out Dauphin’s campaign fliers that say “Ann M ete tet ansanm pou’n s ove Oboy!” which means, “Let’s put our heads together to save Borgne!” The slogan seems to a llude to the phrase “yo s ove” that some Haitians say when they leave their desperately poor country to live in the United States. Brownell says it m eans they have “saved t hemselves” by leaving their homes. Win or lose, Dauphin is sure to keep fighting to save Borgne from poverty and its r elated misery. And his friends in Honeoye Falls will keep doing what they can from afar. Erica Bryant is the Paying it Forward col- u mnist. Contact her at o BryantDandC/. Mayor of Borgne to be chosen PROVIDED PHOTO Estimable Francius Dauphin, known as “Johnny,” with Sarah Brownell’s daughter Aniela. PROVIDED PHOTO Friends of Borgne will sell these ornaments to raise money for an animal husbandry program in Borgne, Haiti. PROVIDED PHOTO The campaign flier of Estimable Dauphin Buy an angel or a pig To raise money for its new animal husbandry program, Friends of Borgneis selling painted angel and pig ornaments for $5. They will be available at the Honeoye Falls branch of Canandaigua National Bank at 99 County Road 94 from Nov. 3 to 16 and at the Spiritus Christi Craft Show at Hochstein School of Music and Dance at 50 N. Plymouth Ave. from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 6. You also can buy angels and pigs by contacting president Joan Haviland at (585) 261-9458. For more information about Friends of Borgne, go to ERICA BRYANT COLUMNIST Page4A Saturday,October24,2015 DemocratandChronicle. com GIANT KITCHENKITCHENKITCHENKITCHEN REMODELINGREMODELINGREMODELINGREMODELING SALE and TOTO 30% OFF ByconsumerReport WEREPAIRANDINSTALL AOSMITH•BRADFORDWHITE STD.40GAS NORMALINSTALLATION OVER30ONDISPLAY CUSTOMORSTOCK STAINLESSSINK 8SIZES SINKSANDFAUCETS ANYSIZE•WEINSTALL EXPERTINSTALLATION FAUCETS•TOILETS DISPOSALS•PUMPS SEPTIC•SEWER •DRAINS• CLEANED- INSTALLEDREPAIRED SHOWROOMS FAIRPORT 556WhitneyRd.W.-377-3434 HENRIETTA 3401WintonPlace-427-2320 OR CASHANDCARRY EXPERTINSTALL SHOWERDOORS OUR 49THYEAR VISITOUR SHOWROOMS BESTPRICEINNEWYORK QUARTZ•GRANITE CORIAN&MORE RATED#1 RochesterKitchen &BathCenters Sin ce1966 50%OFF ® COUNTER TOP REPLACEMENTREPLACEMENTREPLACEMENTREPLACEMENT WEDESIGNWEDESIGNWEDESIGNWEDESIGN ANDINSTALLANDINSTALLANDINSTALLANDINSTALL FREE16GAUGEFREE16GAUGEFREE16GAUGEFREE16GAUGE WEDISCOUNTALLWEDISCOUNTALLWEDISCOUNTALLWEDISCOUNTALL BATHROOM REMODELING PLUMBING SERVICE WATER HEATERS $859 INSTALLEDINSTALLEDINSTALLEDINSTALLED DESIGN•ESTIMATE FREE GRABBARS GRABBARS GRABBARS GRABBARS CUSTOMTILECUSTOMTILECUSTOMTILECUSTOMTILE BACKSPLASHBACKSPLASHBACKSPLASHBACKSPLASH Our49thYear WE •LISTEN •DESIGN •INSTALL OR CASH+CARRY The defunct Medley Centre mall and nine oth- e r properties in Irondequoit owned by Bersin Properties LLC could be sold at a tax lien foreclosure auction coming up on Nov. 10. According to a legal not ice posted on the county's website, the properties in question include 285, 101 and 100 Medley Centre Parkway; 406, 400, 392 and 388 Tiam Drive: 1733 E. Ridge Road; and 1665 E. Ridge Road. I f the taxes remain unpaid past noon on Nov. 9, the sale will be held at 10 a.m. the next day at the County Office Building, 39 W. Main St. County records show more than $1.2 million in taxes are owed on the 10 properties for 2013, 2014 and 2015. C ounty spokesman J ustin Feasel said the starting bid will be equal to the taxes owed, so the c ounty will be made whole if the property sells. The foreclosure action —an "in rem" proceeding —was approved by the C ounty Legislature dur- i ng a meeting in April. Irondequoit Town Supervisor Adam Bello c alled the pending auction "another great step forward" because "one way or another, this will end with the taxpayers getting t heir money back and it c ould end with a new owner for the property." Medley Centre, the for- mer Irondequoit Mall o pened to great fanfare in 1990 but soon faltered. Dev eloper Adam Bersin at- t empted a turnaround in the mid-2000s, but was un- s uccessful. He sold the property to developer Scott Congel, at t hat time a principal with Syracuse-based The Pyramid Cos. in 2008. In ex- c hange for a 30-year package of lucrative tax breaks from the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency, the town of Irondequoit and the East Irondequoit Central School District, Congel p romised a quarter-billion dollar reboot of the site that would include high-end retail, hotels, entertainment and residences. The redevelopment did not materialize. With backing from the town and school district, C OMIDA yanked the tax b reaks in 2014, and put Congel's Bersin Properties LLC sites back on the tax rolls at full value. S hortly thereafter, Bersin Properties countersued a ll three, claiming the en- t ities didn't have the authority to pull the tax b reaks. In February, Bersin Properties lender Nomur a Bank filed a foreclosure action against the company in state Sup reme Court. Those actions are still pending in court. Feasel said if there are no bidders on the property, the county could take title to the parcels or leave the title in Bersin Propert ies' name. If there is a winning bidder, that bidder would have to schedule a closing in order to take title. "This auction is a critical, necessary step toward the end goal of possibly bringing in a new owner and getting new dev elopment at the mall," s aid Bello. MCDERMOT@Gan- Medley Centre to be auctioned Nov. 10 MEAGHAN M. MCDERMOTT @MEAGMC STAFF FILE PHOTO Tax liens for Medley Centre and nine other properties in Irondequoit will be auctioned on Nov. 10. ARochester man acc used of stabbing a Roche ster police officer earli- e r this month pleaded not g uilty to a three-count felony indictment in Monroe County Court Friday. Ronald Baker, 52, is f acing charges of at- t empted aggravated mur- d er of a police officer, at- t empted aggravated ass ault on a police officer, a nd attempted first-degree assault. Baker allegedly stabbed Rochester Police Officer Francisco Santiago on Oct. 6 at an apart- m ent on Monroe Avenue a s Santiago attempted to s erve an arrest warrant. S antiago sustained a s ingle stab wound to the u pper body, was transported to Strong Memori- al Hospital, and released. Baker was indicted e arlier this week by a M onroe County grand ju- r y. H e is scheduled to ret urn to court on Dec. 23. W CLEVELAND@ Man charged with attempted murder of RPD officer WILL CLEVELAND @WILLCLEVELAND13 Ronald B aker

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