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Rochester mayor appoints key administration officials

New administrators will start Jan. 1

By: Daily Record Staff//September 26, 2023

Rochester mayor appoints key administration officials

New administrators will start Jan. 1

By: Daily Record Staff//September 26, 2023//

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Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans has announced staffing changes among senior administration officials.

Deputy Mayor Patrick Cunningham and Corporation Counsel Linda Kingsley will retire at the end of December. Both joined the administration on Jan. 1, 2022, with a commitment to serve for 12 months, and both will have served two full years before retiring.

Cunningham became deputy mayor after a career in financial services and after retiring as CEO of Manning & Napier in 2016.

“I have been humbled and honored to work alongside Mayor Evans and the members of his administration,” Cunningham said in a news release.

“I stayed on beyond the time I originally intended to because I felt compelled to complete some of the projects we had begun. Mayor Evans is the right person in the right job at the right time, and he has inspired me and the rest of us in his administration to give our all to this city,” Cunningham said.

Kingsley served as corporation counsel in Rochester from 1994 to 2005, and previously as corporation counsel in Binghamton. Before joining Evans’ team, she worked in private practice and taught at Albany Law School.

This week, she will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement in Municipal Law Award from the International Municipal Lawyers Association.

“My time here with Mayor Evans and his team and with our Law Department staff has been rewarding beyond my expectations. I now look forward to spending more time with my family and friends while I continue my life here in Rochester,” she said.

“I deeply appreciate the leadership and expertise Deputy Mayor Cunningham and Corporation Counsel Kingsley have brought to the city over the past two years,” Evans said.

“Their efforts and accomplishments will be felt in City Hall and across Rochester for a long time to come,” he said.

Starting Jan. 1, Michael Burns, currently serving as the city’s budget director, will become deputy mayor, and Patrick Beath, currently serving as deputy corporation counsel, will step into the role of corporation counsel.

Burns has nearly 25 years of leadership experience and has been the city’s director of the Office of Management and Budget for more than 18 months. He also currently serves as an adjunct professor at St. John Fisher University.

Previously, Burns was director of accounting services for Regional Transit Service and vice president of investor relations and external reporting for Harris Interactive. He received the Rochester Business Journal 2023 Financial Leaders Award and was recognized with a Forty Under 40 Award in 2006. Burns earned his CPA in 2000 and has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. John Fisher College.

Burns “will bring strong and balanced leadership to this critical operational role,” Evans said.

Beath has served as the city’s deputy corporation counsel since March 2018 and joined as municipal attorney in 2015. Previously, he was assistant corporation counsel in special federal litigation with New York City’s Law Department. He received his law degree at Fordham University School of Law, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and history at Binghamton University.

Beath has received multiple professional awards including the New York City Law Department Division Chief Award, New York State Bar Association Tiffany Cup for Trial Advocacy, and Isaac Liberman Public Service Award.

“Patrick will bring a wealth of knowledge and legal expertise to the position of corporation counsel. He is an innovative thinker with a sharp legal mind and will represent the city well in all legal matters,” Evans said.

Evans also announced the addition of two more significant appointments.

Evans has named Frederick Rion as the city’s new director of emergency management. This high-level operational management and administrative position will have the responsibility for overseeing the effective and efficient direction and operation of the city’s emergency management system, with a goal of anticipating and lessening the impact of emergencies.

Rion will work in close collaboration with the city’s fire, police, and Emergency Communications Departments, Bureau of Communications, and others to coordinate disaster and emergency preparation and response in the city of Rochester.

Rion most recently served as emergency manager for SUNY Brockport, and previously worked for Monroe County, where he served as emergency preparedness administrator and in other emergency management roles.

Rion received a master’s degree in public administration from SUNY Brockport and in social work from Syracuse University. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Albany.

Evans also announced the appointment of Sade McCallan as emerging initiatives manager. McCallan will be responsible for coordinating the city’s efforts around homelessness, cannabis, healthy food accessibility, and other emerging initiatives.

She most recently served as management analyst in the city manager’s office in Waco, Texas, and as tourism manager for Missouri City, Texas.

McCallan has a Master of Arts degree in communication from Dallas Baptist University, and a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Hampton University.


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