LETTER TO THE EDITOR: John Spanbauer is the Right Choice for City Council

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By: Kevin Hearn

Who we elect says a great deal about who we are as a nation, a city, and as individuals. As we seek to be honest, fair, and compassionate citizens, we should expect the same in those we entrust to make critical decisions regarding our community. In good times, we seek these qualities in our elected officials. In the times we find ourselves in now, with significant challenges and declining resources, these qualities must be fundamental requirements of our city officials. While the City’s issues are many and complex, if you believe in honesty, fairness, and compassion, there is a simple choice at the polls on November 5t h – elect John Spanbauer to the Niagara Falls City Council!

I have known John for nearly a decade while we worked together at Niagara University. During this time, John was instrumental in organizational restructuring, strategic planning, and resource management efforts. He was known by students, staff, and faculty for his fair and honest approach to identifying and solving problems. In an organization when consensus building is critically important, John remained committed to bringing people together in order to make important and necessary decisions. John worked hard, everyday, in early and staying late, to get the job done. He built relationships with board members and executives, as well as support and trades staff. He treated everyone he came in contact with respect in order to affect change and demonstrate his understanding of the various perspectives on a particular issue. John was also a responsible budget manager driven to use resources efficiently and to seek a return on any investment we were able to make. Time and time again, John demonstrated a commitment to the people and programs that had a direct, immediate, and important impact on the campus community. Humble and kind in his approach to his work, John was never interested in the recognition that often came from his hard work. When recognized by the University for his unwavering service and commitment with the Vincentian Mission Award in 2012, John was quick to share his award and thanks with his family and his colleagues, as is his manner of a true leader. Throughout his years of service at NU, I never came into contact with anyone who thought him unkind, unfair, or unreasonable. While he managed many responsibilities, and was called upon to lead in various roles at the University, including as the interim vice president, John approached the job and the people he worked with with an unwavering work ethic and unflappable determination to address and solve problems. Isn’t this how we should describe our elected officials?

Say what you will about Democrats and Republicans, the issues they claim and their agenda. This year’s city elections must be about the people of Niagara Falls, Republicans and Democrats alike, and the real issues citizens face in this great city. If you care about your city, about how critical decisions will be made, and about the character of the politicians who we trust to make these decisions, the choice is simple – elect John Spanbauer!


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