PERRYSBURG - Lori Dankert is running for her second term as Town Justice in Perrysburg.
Born and raised in Western New York, Dankert has been a resident of Perrysburg for more than 18 years. "I have 22 years of government service to offer you. This includes employment with the New York State Department of Corrections, Village of Perrysburg, and the Town of Perrysburg," she said.
Dankert was elected to the town justice position in 2009. Since May of 2011, she has been the only acting justice in the town due to an abolishment of the second justice seat. She was the Court Clerk for the Perrysburg Town Court for eight years prior to her current position as Town Justice.
"My service to the town and village of Perrysburg has been extensive," she said. Dankert was the village clerk for three years, deputy town clerk for nine years, court clerk for eight years and town justice for four years.
She was also a Director for the New York State Association of Magistrates Court Clerks/NYSAMCC. During that time as Director for the NYSAMCC, Dankert was a class instructor for the New York State Office of Court Administration out of Albany. She is also a current member of the New York State Magistrates Associa-tion and the Cattaraugus County Magistrates Associa-tion.
Dankert said she is a proud member of the Gowanda Central School Partners in Drug and Alcohol Prevention Team. She was asked by Superintendent Charles Rinaldi to join the team to address the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol in our schools and community.
"I am pleased to tell you that over the last four years as Town Justice, the court has seen many positive changes," said Dankert. "I applied for grant monies through the New York State Justice Court Assistance Program (JCAP), and was awarded a total of $8,127 over the last three years. We have made many needed improvements to the court's facility security, public protection, and the court's overall professional appearance through these grants. I am currently working on the 20122013 JCAP grant to be submitted this year. I am also working with New York state to implement an online payment system. Having this system will not cost the court or town any money, and would tremendously decrease the unpaid fines and increase productivity for the court. I am proud to say that after 12 years of working in this court, I finally have finally created a 21st century courtroom," she said.
Dankert said she has learned a great deal over the last four years from experience on the bench. "The most important part of being a judge is being fair and impartial to the defendants that appear before you. There has been a tremendous amount of legislative changes to the laws over the last four years. There have also been many new procedures for the court implemented by the Office of Court Administra-tion to uphold the integrity of the judicial system. There is always something new to learn in this position, and I take my job and training seriously," she said.
Dankert added that she has earned an overwhelming amount of respect from those who enter her court. "I am often complimented on how efficient this court is. My community believed in me four years ago and elected me to hold this important office. I was elected to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary, and I believe that I have achieved that goal 100 percent," she said.
During Dankert's term in office, she has presided over more than 2,000 tickets. This includes all statutes of the law (Vehicle & Traffic, Penal Law, etc). She keeps taxpayers aware of the court's monies collected in fines and surcharges every month. Her report is filed and reported at the town board meetings monthly, and they are also published in the paper.
Dankert also added that the court is now "self-funding." The court's gross revenue last year was $43,349. "There is now a remarkable police presence in the town, and the caseload has almost doubled from prior years," she said.
"I am very ambitious, and dedicate many hours a week to my position. I have 12 years experience in this courtroom, first as court clerk then judge. I have shown my fellow constituents that I am more than capable of being the only town justice, which takes commitment, dedication, and most importantly, knowledge of the law. A judge is on call 24/7, and I am always here when needed be it during the day, or in the middle of the night," she said.
Dankert lives on North Road in the town of Perrysburg for more than 18 years. Married to her husband Dan for 18 years, they have two daughters Ashley and Jessi who were born and raised in Perrysburg and attend Gowanda Central Schools.
Dankert is urging registered Republicans, Conser-vatives and Independence Party voters to make their vote count on Primary Day, Thursday, Sept. 13.