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Dunkirk Mayor visits DHS to discuss future opportunities

By Taylor Rancka, Keirsten French and Erin Berlin

The Citizen Staff Writers

   Willie Rosas, Dunkirk mayor and NYS’s first Hispanic mayor, visited DHS to talk to seniors about his philosophy and his plan for Dunkirk's future.

   “The hardest thing to do is the right thing,” Rosas said. “I’m here to fix what is wrong.”

   He encouraged students to partake in community service.

   “To me, life is round -- sometimes you’re at the top and sometimes you’re at the bottom ... That’s my philosophy. Once you’re at the top, it means you should help the ones at the bottom.” He explained that “the top” means the fortunate and by “the bottom” he means the less fortunate.
   This is the importance of community service, for people to give to the less fortunate, he said.

   He said he always tries to treat everyone the same.
   “One day you could be the person giving the help. The next day you could be the one needing the help,” he said.

   Rosas spoke of the role taxes play in our county and commented that “There are two things for certain in life you will die and you will pay taxes.”

   He said that the state gave the city of Dunkirk $2 million after the closing of the NRG plant. Before it closed, NRG used to pay $3 million in taxes. NRG was the biggest taxpayers in the county.

   Rosas spoke at length about future progress and job opportunities for new graduates in four new businesses coming to Dunkirk: Wyndam hotel, condominiums, steel plant expansion, and the drug rehab center. 

   Rosas graduated from Dunkirk High School and became a state trooper in March 1983. He retired from that position before becoming Dunkirk’s mayor.
   In a USA Today article from Jan. 1, 2016, Rosas commented on becoming the New York State’s first Hispanic mayor.
"It's a big day for me and my family and the Hispanic community in New York State as I am now the first elected Hispanic Mayor of any city in New York State history," he said.


Photo by Keirsten French