by Dave Warner

Little Falls City Court Judge, Mark R. Rose, formally announced his run for Herkimer County Family Court Judge in a press conference held Friday afternoon at the Senior Community Center in Little Falls.

The Herkimer County Family Court is the only Family Court in Herkimer County, and if elected, the term is for ten years.

Retired Little Falls Chief of Police Michael Masi opened the event for Rose and said, “In my 27 years of law enforcement in Herkimer County, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mark Rose in numerous capacities. Regardless of what hat Mr. Rose was wearing, I always found him to perform his role with integrity, compassion, and thoughtfulness.”

“As a family court judge, Mark Rose will have to make really tough decisions, that will have a long-lasting impact on children, on families, and on Herkimer County residents,” said Masi. “I have confidence in Mark Rose’s experience.”

Photo by Dave Warner – Jack Korce and his wife Eddie speak about their experience with Mark Rose and the adoption of their daughter Emma.

A family who had had direct dealings with Rose got up and spoke next about their experiences with him in regards to adopting their young daughter. Jack Korce stated, “We talked to Mark about the burdens and the concerns about adopting. And, after that, it seemed like all of our doubts were just lifted. We will forever be thankful for Mark and his efforts.”

Alvin Montanna then came up to the podium to speak about his personal experience with Mark Rose as a lawyer. “I just wanted to say a few kind words on his behalf. Because of his expertise and knowledge of the family court system, he did very well for our family, and we are happy with the outcome.”

Nine years ago, they had had a family tragedy where their grandson was killed in a car accident. “At the time, he was the father of a little baby. We were worried about the baby’s well-being and we knew we had to go to family court. Rose knew family law, and after we met with him, we could see that he cared about the well-being of children. He wanted to make sure that Jr. would be well cared for.”

“He will be a good family court judge,” Montanna said.

Rose’s son Ed, then got up to formally introduce his father and speak about his background. “I cannot attest for my father as an attorney or a judge, because I’ve never needed a lawyer and my father likes to keep his business to himself.”

“But what I can speak on, is what is not on his resume…his character and role as a father. My dad has always been there for me, whether it be running to my tennis matches or the shows down at the school, or simply just giving me a call when he knows I need someone to talk to,” he said.

“This is the type of man that Herkimer County needs,” stated his son. “I am very proud to introduce you to the man who taught me how to be an outstanding citizen, my dad, Judge Mark Rose.”

Mark Rose took to the podium and said, “I wrote out a speech for today which I’m going to read, but as I was coming here, I was thinking that when Donald Trump announced his candidacy, he was at Trump Plaza with gold all over and he came down the stairs and I had to hurdle across the Cemetary Creek sewage project to get here.”

He continued, “There is one thing that is not listed on my resume, and that’s the impact that I’ve had on the lives of those that I’ve represented in family court. My biggest success as a lawyer, my biggest reward, is seeing that I’ve had a positive impact on the leaders of our community such as Chief Masi and salt of the earth people like Jack and Eddie and Alvin.”

“If my career were to end today, I would be satisfied with the body of work. But the work is not done, for this county will soon need a family court judge. A position that I am compelled to run for as I am the most qualified and experienced candidate. I am not sure that most people understand the significance of the position,” he stated.

“This post is arguably the highest elected position in the county. It’s for a term of ten years. The family court judge alone must ensure that a fair case is heard. There is no jury in family court, there is only the judge. On a daily basis, the judge has to make decisions that affect mothers, fathers, grandparents, and of course, children.”

He went on to say that he believed that this position is one of the most important in our society. “As an attorney who has represented hundreds of clients in Herkimer County Family Court, I have handled both Family Court trials in Herkimer and argued appeals in Rochester. As a school attorney for over ten years, I have handled a wide variety of student disciplinary matters. As a City Court Judge, I have presided over Jury trials in Little Falls and Utica City Court.”

“To be an effective Judge, one must first be an effective courtroom attorney. A full range of experience is necessary to exercise good judgment as a Family Court Judge,” Rose stated. “The position should not be awarded to an attorney who does not practice law – it doesn’t make sense, nor should it be entrusted to an attorney who simply wants to be a judge.”

Rose was first elected to the City Court in 2007 and was recently re-elected to his third six-year term. He is also the attorney for the Little Falls School District, the Villages of Dolgeville, Ilion, Middleville, and Towns of Norway and Russia.

Rose will be running on the Republican, Independence, and Conservative lines. Primaries for the 2020 election will be held in June, followed by the general election in November.

He resides in Little Falls with his wife Rita (Guardino) Rose and their two children. He is the son of retired City Court Judge, Edward J. Rose and is a graduate of LeMoyne Collge and Illinois University School of Law. His private office is located in Little Falls.