Few would relish the a political battle with Markowitz right now, but D’Ottavio, the Republican candidate for the borough presidency, doesn’t seem to mind the challenge. In fact, one gets the impression D’Ottavio even enjoys it.
In an interview D’Ottavio was quick to praise the incumbent, but said now is time for a change.
“I think Marty’s done a decent job” as borough president, D’Ottavio said. However, “I think its time to make a move and get somebody in there who looks at things differently.”
D’Ottavio does not support the use of eminent domain to acquire property for the controversial Atlantic Yards project, which Markowitz has backed enthusiastically.
(“I like the idea [of Atlantic Yards]” he said. “I don’t like the way it was handled”).
He thinks the plans to redevelop Coney Island look “too much like Atlantic City.”
D’Ottavio said he favors sustainable development in keeping with Brooklyn’s eclectic character. He suggested he might shy away from mega projects to focus on smaller ones. “We don’t need to be the skyline,” he said. “We don’t need to be Manhattan.”
D’Ottavio, who lives in Dyker Heights, owns a Chinese restaurant in Bay Ridge; he also worked as car salesman for many years.
More recently, he was chosen to serve as the Brooklyn Republican County’s finance chairperson, a post he still holds. When he was tapped to run against Markowitz, D’Ottavio said he threw himself into the campaign.
If elected, he said he would decentralize the borough president’s Borough Hall office, possibly setting up satellite offices around the county.
That way, said D’Ottavio, he and his staff could focus on fixing the every day problems Brooklynites face each day, such as potholes and broken city infrastructure.
Though he admitted he has less money or volunteers on hand than Markowitz, D’Ottavio said he believes he has a chance. “I’m a serious candidate in the fact that I’m getting out there,” he said.