NORTH TONAWANDA – Mayor Robert Ortt will run for a second term in office, with a plan to focus on upgrading dilapidated housing stock, fixing roads and instituting more reforms and economic development projects such as the ones developed during his first four years on the job.
“It’s a very fulfilling job. I know as a mayor I have an opportunity to do something great,” he said Wednesday. “I don’t do that every ay, but I have the opportunity every day.”
Before he was elected, Ortt, 33, a Republican, had a career as a financial planner and was a member of the Army National Guard, serving for a year in Afghanistan. As mayor, he championed veterans’ initiatives, such as a homebuilding project for a soldier who lost his legs. He also hired a new public works superintendent who developed a street repair plan, and negotiated the transfer of emergency dispatch workers to the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office in Lockport. The dispatch department had cost the city about $440,000 a year.
Most of the other elected posts with terms expiring are held by people who intend to run for re-election, or for an elected post of some kind:
• City Attorney Shawn Nickerson will run for a third four-year term, Ortt said.
• Common Council President Richard Andres of the 2nd Ward, a North Tonawanda High School history teacher, said he was weighing his options and not ready to announce.
• Alderman Russ Rizzo, of the 1st Ward, a former county legislator and former owner of an office supply business, said he will seek re-election. An Independent who caucuses with Republicans, Rizzo served on the council from 2000 to 2009 before spending two years as a Niagara County legislator.
• Alderman Eric Zadzilka, of the 3rd Ward, who tests and screens patients for a Williamsville eye doctor, will run for a third term.
• Alderwoman-at-Large Nancy Donovan could not be reached to comment.