Rochester Mayor appoints senior leaders

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Michael Burns and Patrick Beath will step into key positions at City Hall next year. 

Burns, the city’s budget director, will take over Patrick Cunningham’s role as deputy mayor. Beath assumes Linda Kingsley’s role as corporation counsel. 

Cunningham and Kingsley, who joined the Evans administration in 2022, will retire at the end of the year. Both leaders helped identify and cultivate their successors, officials say.

“I appreciate Mike’s willingness to step into the role of deputy mayor at the end of this year,” says Mayor Malik Evans, of Burns. “He has spent the last year and a half successfully working across city departments and managing cross-functional teams. He will bring strong and balanced leadership to this critical operational role.”

Burns has served as director of the Office of Management and Budget for more than 18 months. Previously, he was director of accounting services for Regional Transit Service and vice president of investor relations and external reporting for Harris Interactive.

Beath has been the city’s deputy corporation counsel since March 2018 and joined as municipal attorney three years before that. He was assistant corporation counsel in special federal litigation with New York City’s law department prior to his positions with the city.

“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 says. “I look forward to working with him even more closely as he steps into the position of corporation counsel.”

Cunningham and Kingsley had both committed to serving for a year. The end of 2023 will mark two full years.

“I have been humbled and honored to work alongside Mayor Evans and the members of his administration,” Cunningham says. “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.”

Kingsley, who was the city’s corporation counsel from 1994 to 2005, worked in private practice and taught at Albany Law School before joining Evans’ team. This week, she will be presented a Lifetime Achievement in Municipal Law Award from the International Municipal Lawyers Association, city officials say.

“I want to thank Mayor Evans for giving me the opportunity to conclude my legal career by once again serving the city in the position that first brought me to Rochester over 30 years ago,” Kingsley says. “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.”

Evans also announced the addition of two positions believed to be crucial to achieving some of his administration’s priorities. Both positions were included in the city’s 2023-24 budget and will begin within the next six weeks, officials say.

Frederick Rion has been named the director of emergency management, overseeing the effective and efficient direction and operation of the city’s emergency management system. Rion will work with the city’s fire, police and emergency communications departments, bureau of communication and others to coordinate disaster and emergency preparedness and response. The underlying goal: anticipating and lessening the impact of emergencies. 

Rion has been emergency manager for SUNY Brockport and has worked for Monroe County as emergency preparedness administrator.

Sade McCallan joins the city as emerging initiatives manager. She will coordinate the city’s efforts around homelessness, cannabis, healthy food accessibility and other emerging initiatives. Most recently, McCallan served as management analyst in the city manager’s office in Waco, Texas, and as tourism manager for Missouri City, Texas.

“I am proud of the work my administration has done so far, and am excited to begin the next two years working with these new senior leaders to deliver hope and opportunity for Rochester’s residents,” Evans says. “There is always more work to be done, and I look forward to continuing to build a safer and more prosperous Rochester for all.”

Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

One thought on “Rochester Mayor appoints senior leaders

  1. Thanks for the update and introductions. Contact info public servants would be a welcome addition to this type of information sharing.

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