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Monroe County New York

Horace and Grace Bush House, ca. 1821, 1932 Five Mile Line Rd., Penfield, NY, National Register

Photo: Horace and Grace Bush House, ca. 1821, 1932 Five Mile Line Rd., Penfield, NY. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. Photographed by User:DanielPenfield (own work), 2012, [cc-by-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed December, 2013.

Monroe County administrative offices are located at 39 West Main St., Rochester NY 14614; phone: 585-428-5301.

Beginnings [1]

After numerous petitions to the legislature covering a period of five years, the county of Monroe, comprising 14 towns taken from the counties of Ontario and Genesee, became a political subdivision of the state on February 23, 1821. Rochester was designated as the county seat and immediately plans were made for the erection of a courthouse. On March 7, 1821, James Seymour was appointed sheriff of the newly created county by Governor De Witt Clinton. At that time it was stipulated that all prisoners of record were to be confined in the Ontario County jail at Canandaigua until suitable facilities for the care of prisoners were erected in Rochester.

The first meeting of the board of supervisors was held on May 2, 1821, at which time the site of the courthouse was selected, the land donated by Rochester, Carroll, and Fitzhugh. In 1821 Colonel Nathaniel Rochester was elected to the Assembly of New York, and the representation of Monroe County was recognized as an ordained function of the state government.

The government of Monroe County followed the general trend of other New York State counties until the enactment of the Buckley Law, which became effective May 16, 1935. Under this law optional forms of county government were provided. In a referendum on November 5, 1935, the voters of Monroe County chose the county manager form, which became effective January 1, 1936.

Under this form of county government, the board of supervisors is the policy-determining body and is vested with all the powers of the county. The county manager is appointed by the board of supervisors as the administrative head of the county government; he has supervision over all its departments except as the law otherwise provides, and devotes his full time to his duties. He is accountable to the board of supervisors for collection of taxes and other revenues of the county; for the custody and accounting of all public funds; for the care of the poor and other charitable, correctional, and public welfare activities; and for any or all matters of property and business in connection with the administration of school districts and other governmental units within the county, which shall be delegated to him with the approval of the board of supervisors. In general, he handles the entire administrative details of the county government according to the law and under the direction of the board of supervisors.

  1. Federal Writers' Project, Works Progress Administration, State of New York, Rochester and Monroe County: A History and Guide, 1937, Scrantom's, Rochester NY
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