Council adds fifth member

Now there are five.

The Dunkirk Common Council is back at full strength after council approved Wilfred Rosas as councilman-at-large, replacing Stephanie Kiyak who resigned Aug. 5. Rosas will serve until the end of the year, with a special election to fill the seat for the remainder of the two-year term to be held with the general election on Nov. 4.

Rosas began the meeting sitting on the public side of the courtroom, sitting patiently until council worked its way through the agenda before getting to the first resolution, 72-2014, which authorized his appointment.

Councilwoman Stacy Szukala spoke before the vote, noting three applicants sent in letters, “saying they were willing to fill the seat temporarily.”

“After the recommendation of the Dunkirk Democratic Committee, as well as some internal discussion between council members, we felt comfortable with the recommendation for Willie Rosas to come on the board,” she stated. “If you’re still, after this crazy meeting, interested.”

There were no other comments and Rosas was approved by a 4-0 vote, with councilmen Michael Michalski, William J. Rivera and Adelino Gonzalez joining Szukala in approving a new council leader.

A retired New York State Police Trooper, Rosas was the Dunkirk City Democratic Committee’s pick with 13 of the 22 votes eligible to be cast. The City Code states the replacement must be a member of the same party as the person who resigned, and may be nominated by the City Committee of that party.

Rosas, with his wife Rosita and son Jonah by his side, was then sworn in by Mayor Anthony J. Dolce.

After hugs from his family and a handshake from Dolce, Rosas then took the gavel and before getting back to the agenda, made a brief statement, thanking council for their support.

“I’d just like to say that I look forward to working with council as well as the mayor,” Rosas stated, adding meetings with department heads will also be scheduled.

After navigating through the final four agenda items, Rosas gavelled his first meeting to a close.

After the meeting, Rosas was asked his thoughts on being on the council.

“I’m kind of excited,” he replied. “This is a little bit new to me but I felt comfortable as we went on and I’m looking forward to working with these folks. I think we can make progress.”

Rosas said he would be filling the committee seats Kiyak had.

“As of right now probably what’s going to happen is I’ll be filling in the committees that she was in on until the end of the year,” he added. “At that point we’re going to sit down and revamp, maybe interchange them a little bit.”

That would require Rosas running and getting re-elected in November, something he is planning to do, he added.

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