I would like to take this opportunity to explain why John Ottaviano is the best candidate for Niagara County Court Judge.

John was born and raised on the north end of Lockport. His mom was a beautician and his dad was an auto mechanic. He began his career as city attorney in 1993, at the age of 35, and served both Democratic and Republican mayors for 25 years.

As city attorney, John brought an end to 25 years of litigation over a large, vacant parcel of prime commercial real estate in the heart of downtown Lockport, known at that time as the "South Block," by regaining legal title to the land. He guided the city and Greater Lockport Development Corporation through the Richmond Avenue project now known as Canal Street. He drafted the loan documents that included a ship mortgage that helped start Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises.

John loves the city of Lockport. You can see his influence everywhere. For example, when a former coffee shop that's now Niagara Produce was ready to walk away from the downtown project due to a lack of customer parking, it was John who took a pencil and sketched the area at the foot of Washburn Street for a one-way street with parking on both sides to save the project. When the Canal Corporation wanted to install Jersey barriers along the south side of Canal Street, it was John who vigorously objected and fought until they agreed to install a decorative finished wall.

Lockport In Bloom was another project John started after he had taken a garden tour in Ellicottville.

John was also a member of Kiwanis Club for 10 years and served as its president.

He founded and worked tirelessly with several other community-minded volunteers over a period of seven years to raise $15 million to build a state-of-the-art twin pad ice arena that draws 150,000 visitors annually. These visitors come from as far away as China and Russia, fill our local restaurants, and created a demand for over 4,000 hotel rooms each year.

I have read several articles attempting to disparage John's credentials to serve as County Court Judge. Criticizing an opponent does not demonstrate the character, integrity and judicial temperament to serve as a judge. A judge is supposed to preside over the cases and not prosecute or defend the cases. The qualities of a good judge are compassion, empathy, respect for the essential dignity of all persons, patience, moral courage and high ethics. John has all of those traits and that is why I am supporting him for County Court Judge on June 22.

JOE KANE, Lockport

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