By: Edwin Martinez
On January 1st 2015 Willie Rosas was sworn in as the first Hispanic/Latino Mayor of Dunkirk, New York and New York State.
Another Dunkirk son, Retired Buffalo City Court judge Raul Figueroa, who was raised in Dunkirk and was the first elected Hispanic/Latino judge in upstate New York, conducted the swearing in ceremony.
Judge Figueroa came back to Dunkirk from Saint Simons, Georgia to conduct the swearing in ceremony at the request of Mayor Willie Rosas who has known the judge since he was a young man in Dunkirk and always admired the judge for his integrity and his commitment to the Dunkirk community.
After the swearing in ceremony Rosas thanked his wife Rosita and sons Jonah and Jordan, who participated in the historic event.
Mayor Rosas then gave his first state of the city address where pledged to those in attendance and the citizens of Dunkirk that he would work to make Dunkirk a place that every resident would be proud to call home. “ Change is coming – Postive Change” I promise to work with the City Council and the residents of this city to make positive change”. I promise to have an open door policy and have asked every department head to also have an open door policy” “ I promise transparency “. He addressed the NRG issue- and promised to work endlessly to keep that facility open and growing. Likewise, he promised to bring new jobs to the city and work toward reducing crime in the city.
Also taking the oath of office was councilman Adelino Gonzalez, Andrew Woloszyn, Donald Williams, Martin Bamonto, and Councilwomen Stacy Szukala. with City Treasurer Mark Woods and Clerk, Board of Assessors Thomas Mleczko
(Left to right): Stacy Szukala, Adelino Gonzalez, Andrew Woloszyn, Martin Bamonto, Donald Williams
Dignitaries from around the State and the country attended the ceremony.
Rosas- of Puerto Rican descent was born and raised in Dunkirk, New York. He was a State Police Trooper for more than 20 years, and then became the Council Member at large in the city council in 2015. The same year, he decided to run for mayor because he felt he needed to give back more to the community, which has given so much to him and his family. Likewise, Rosas credits his good friend and Democratic city party chairman Edward Ned Divine who asked him early on, to run for mayor and has been an enormous support.