City of North Tonawanda: Mayor Ortt announces plans for re-election bidby jmaloni
City of North Tonawanda Mayor Robert G. Ortt announced Wednesday he will seek a second term as mayor of the City of North Tonawanda.
"When I ran for mayor in 2009, it was my intent to do three things: reduce the size of city government while increasing its efficiency; rebuild our city's aging streets and infrastructure; and restore accountability and pride in our city and city government," he said. "There is no doubt in my mind that we have achieved all three of these things. Still, there is more work that needs to be done, and I will ask the good people of North Tonawanda for their confidence and support for a second term as their mayor."
"I have always looked at this job as a four-year position," Ortt said. "I never thought of it in terms of getting re-elected. I wanted to tackle the challenges that I felt were facing our city and have a positive impact. During my first term, we have seen an unprecedented period of economic expansion and growth over the past three years. From new business coming in, to existing companies that are expanding operations, our pro-growth, pro-business policies have yielded positive results.
"Even after four strong years, though, there are still challenges that face our city. We will continue to look at ways to decrease the cost of city government by sharing services and better utilizing taxpayer dollars. We must address our declining housing stock, as well as continue to repair our streets and infrastructure. I look forward to addressing these issues and others, working alongside our Common Council for the betterment of all of our residents."
Ortt pointed to several accomplishments in his first term, including:
•Economic development projects, including the Remington Lofts, the Remington Tavern & Seafood Exchange and Walmart. Renovations are also taking place at the long-vacant Gratwick Riverside Marina, which will include a new waterfront restaurant, Lumberjack's Patio Grill.
•The transfer of the emergency dispatch function to Niagara County, saving NT taxpayers $1.7 million over five years.
•Negotiating union contracts that will save taxpayer dollars by limiting pay increases and increasing employee contributions toward health care.
•Hiring the first new Public Works superintendent in 32 years, and putting in place a three-year plan to improve city streets and roads.
•A decrease of 17 percent in the size of the city workforce, saving an estimated $2.3 million in salaries.
•Several veterans' initiatives designed to promote and recognize their service and sacrifice. These included working with Gold Star mother Sally Urban on the Hometown Heroes Project and working with Homes for Our Troops to build a home in NT for disabled Marine Cpl. Paul Schaus, who lost both legs in Afghanistan.
Ortt solicited and received a piece of steel from the wreckage of the World Trade Center and will be erecting a memorial to the victims and heroes of 9/11.
North Tonawanda Mayor Robert G. Ortt is pictured.