Henrietta elections: Pictometry founder running for supervisor

Will Cleveland , Meaghan M. McDermott and Sarah Taddeo , Democrat and Chronicle
Published 2:01 p.m. ET April 14, 2017 | Updated 2:35 p.m. ET April 14, 2017

Steve Schultz, Democratic candidate for Henrietta Town Supervisor (Photo: Provided)

The Henrietta Democratic Committee announced its nominations this week for candidates in the November town elections.

Steve Schultz, founder of Pictometry International, headlines the picks. Schultz is tabbed to run for town supervisor.

“This is the most exciting ticket that Democrats in Henrietta have fielded in quite some time,” Henrietta town Democratic leader Simeon Banister said in a release. “Henrietta is a great town that’s being led in the wrong direction. A successful business visionary like Steve Schultz is just what we need to get us back on the right track.”

Henrietta is one of only five towns in Monroe County where Democrats have an enrollment advantage. The others are East Rochester, Gates, Irondequoit and Brighton. The town has slightly more than 9,000 enrolled Democrats to about 7,300 enrolled Republicans.

Banister said Democrats see opportunity in those numbers. He noted that the party performed well in the 2015 elections, with Democratic candidates Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton each winning more votes than their opponents in the town.

“This is a change election in Henrietta,” Banister said. “All the trends are there and we are starting earlier and working harder. More importantly, we’re giving voters a real choice not simply to vote against the current administration, but to vote for candidates that have a clear vision to secure our quality of life and set Henrietta on the path to economic growth.”

Henrietta Democrats selected Mike Stafford and Rob Barley to run for Town Board.

Stafford is the the president of GCC/IBT Local 530M, the graphic printer’s union. Barley works for MDR Investment and formerly served as the voice of the Rush-Henrietta High School football and basketball teams.
Jack Moore, a Republican, is currently town supervisor. He was first elected to office in 2013. The Henrietta Town Board is composed of four Republicans: Janet Zinck, M. Rick Page Jr., Scott Adair and Kenneth Breese.

Moore, Zinck and Breese will run again on the Republican ticket in the fall, said Moore. Adair and Page are not up for re-election this year.

“We’re going to run on a platform where we’ve provided stable and/or lower taxes, and when people needed help in the community, we’ve tried to help them,” said Moore. He added that he believes the town’s response to March’s windstorm was an example of Henrietta’s well-being and focus on its citizens.

Democratic town supervisor candidate Schultz, 54, co-founded Pictometry in 1996. He holds over 80 patents and “created all of the underlying technology used by the company,” Henrietta Democrats said in a release. He was bought out after the company was sold and currently invests in and advises start-up companies.

“I’m running because I want to restore the people’s trust in their town government by making it more transparent, more responsive to its citizens, and by serving the greater good, rather than special interests,” Schultz said in a release. “I will make sure citizen’s questions get answered, both at board meetings and online.”

Schultz, who has lived in Henrietta since 1980, is married to Vicki Schultz and has two sons, Skyler, 13, and Hayden, 11. He said another important aim will be working to preserve the rural character of southwestern portions of the town. In particular, he criticized recent efforts by the town board to consider rezoning as many as 1,300 acres of farm fields for industrial use. Facing mounting criticism from vocal residents, the town board put that plan on hold late last year.

More: Agricultural vs. industrial: Henrietta officials weigh zoning change

“I’d like to stop that, and really solidify some of those zones so they can’t be changed by future boards,” said Schultz. “An idea I want to look into is see if we can put up a referendum saying that these areas cannot be rezoned except through another referendum, so another board can’t come and do something like this without a majority of the town wanting it to happen.”

Additionally, Schultz said he wants to make Henrietta safer for families, especially by investing in infrastructure such as sidewalks so that children don’t have to be driven everywhere by their parents.
“Take my street, for example,” he said. “There are no shoulders and no sidewalks. It’s not safe for anybody to be walking or biking on the street and we have to drive everywhere because it’s just not safe for children. Of course, I realize my road is a county road so much of what I’d be doing is advocacy, but town government should be fighting for things that benefit the town.”

He’d also use his experience helping start-up companies get off the ground to work towards leveraging state programs to help create a hub for new high-tech business near the Rochester Institute of Technology campus.

Read the original article here.