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Wyatt appointed to University seat on Council

Common Council members Tuesday elevated their chief of staff to become one of them.

Rasheed N.C. Wyatt, 50, was appointed in a 7-1 vote to fill the University District vacancy for the rest of the year.

Several University District residents attended the meeting, and in brief remarks after taking the oath of office, Wyatt said that he had already begun meeting with them and thanked them for their support.

“It’s something that I think God has destined me on since I was a little boy,” Wyatt said. “My mom and my dad would always encourage me to think about others and not just think about myself.”

Wyatt said he hoped he would do the University District justice.

“We will work together to move the University District forward,” he said.

Wyatt was the front-runner for the job since it became clear that Bonnie E. Russell would leave the seat early this year after 10 years to take a job as a legal secretary in Family Court.

Wyatt joined the Council as a senior legislative aide in 2012 and has been a friend of Council President Darius G. Pridgen since Pridgen was 14.

Five people interviewed for the appointment in front of Council members last week.

In a special meeting Tuesday, North Council Member Joseph Golombek nominated Mary M. O’Rourke, and Fillmore Council Member David A. Franczyk nominated Archie L. Amos, who held the seat in the 1980s and 1990s. Both nominations were seconded, as was Niagara Council Member David A. Rivera’s nomination of Wyatt.

When the roll-call vote was taken, Golombek voted for O’Rourke, and the rest of the Council voted for Wyatt.

Wyatt was sworn in by Family Court Judge Mary G. Carney, who is Russell’s boss. Russell attended the Council’s special meeting, as did Erie County Legislature Minority Leader Betty Jean Grant.

Candidates for the seat will run in a special election this fall. Another election will be held in November 2015, when all Council seats are on the ballot.