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McCaffrey appoints Franco to succeed her in 2nd Ward

BY: Community Papers of WNY Staff | March 04, 2014

Lockport Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey announced today that she has selected Major Ronald A. Franco (United States Air Force, retired) to succeed her as 2nd Ward Alderman.

“It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the appointment of Major Ron Franco as 2nd Ward Alderman. Ron’s military, private sector and community experience will immediately bring a fresh perspective to City Hall as the Common Council and I face crucial decisions together on financial and structural changes in the coming months,” McCaffrey stated.

“Ron’s special skill-set and passionate desire to re-shape how our City government operates were key in my decision making process. Ron shares my concerns about the current situation at City Hall and is eager to embark on this difficult mission of implementing necessary reforms for the betterment of our City’s future. I look forward to working with Ron and I am confident that his energy, background and common-sense leadership will be welcomed by Lockport residents, especially during this difficult period in our City’s history.” McCaffrey continued.

“I’m grateful to Mayor McCaffrey for this opportunity to represent the 2nd Ward as Alderman and I’m looking forward to serving the residents of Lockport. I’ve been fortunate to have traveled the globe with the Air Force and as a professional pilot and the farther I travel, the more I learn what a treasure a hometown like Lockport is. As anyone who knows us will tell you, my wife Deborah, and I are tremendous supporters and champions of our City. Like many cities, we are facing difficult times, but we are resilient and economic progress is slowly taking shape. We also have a powerful asset: A community that fondly remembers our rich past and cares deeply about our city’s future. With that in mind, I am very excited about Mayor McCaffrey’s fresh leadership style and her willingness to tackle tough issues. Her reputation of honesty and integrity is well known and her commitment to this City is commendable.” Franco stated.

“As a senior pilot for a major airline, I have the advantage of an extremely flexible schedule that will allow me to both meet all of my commitments and responsibilities, and to dedicate a large amount of time to my service,” he added.

Franco has served as a pilot for American Airlines since 1999. As Aircraft Commander/Instructor Pilot, 328 Airlift Squadron from 1989 to 2004 in the United States Air Force, Franco was Chief of Training, a night-vision goggle flight test pilot, Niagara Air Show aircraft display coordinator and an Air Medal and Aerial Achievement Medal recipient. His countless international missions include Operations Volant Oak (Central/South America) – Special Forces support in 1989; United Nations support in Somalia, Bosnia, Turkey and Egypt; Combat Missions in Desert Storm (Arabia) 1990-1991 and again during Iraqi Freedom (Afghanistan, Iraq) 2003-2004 (including evading shoulder-launched missile over Baghdad and rescue of Jessica Lynch Special Forces team deployment to Iraq).

Franco was Commissioned as an Air Force Officer in 1987 as Distinguished Graduate, earned his Air Force Wings in 1989 and was an Air Force Academy Liaison Officer from 2004-2009.

Franco is a 1982 graduate of Lockport High School and received a congressional appointment to United States Air Force Academy. He studied there and Syracuse University where he was awarded his bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering. Franco was selected as speaker and guest of honor for Lockport Veteran’s Day Parade 1991, gave the Commencement Address at the 2004 Lockport High School graduation and was the Keynote speaker Lockport High School Quality Student Awards 2006.

Franco, a Republican, met his wife Deborah as an eighth grade student at Emmet Belknap school. They have two children Amanda and Alex. He is an avid distance runner and hockey player. The Franco’s currently reside on Locust Street in the 2nd Ward.

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