RYE, N.Y. -- Just days after Rye's new mayor and City Council members were sworn into office, two more residents have been appointed to serve on the City Council.
Richard Slack and Richard Mecca were both selected by newly inaugurated Mayor Joe Sack to fill the two open seats on the council. The seats were left open by Sack, who was elected mayor in November, and former council member Catherine Parker, who was elected to the Westchester Board of Legislators. Mecca and Slack were nominated by Sack and unanimously approved by the City Council at its meeting Wednesday.
Both Sack and Parker had two years remaining in their terms, but under the city charter both Mecca and Slack will serve terms through Jan. 1, 2015. A special election will be held in to determine who will serve the last year of Sack's and Parker's unexpired terms.
Mecca has been a Rye resident since 1980. He is an electrician who owned Mecca Electric in Rye for several years, and currently works as an electrical inspector in White Plains. He has also served on the Flood Advisory Committee, the Planning Commission and the Board of Architectural Review, as well as on former Mayor Steve Otis's master planning task force. He is also a long-time member of the Rye Fire Department, and has served as captain in the patrol company. He and his wife Adrienne have two adult children who attended Rye schools.
Slack has lived in Rye since 1996, and is an attorney with Weil, Gotshal & Manges. He specializes in business and securities litigation, as well as corporate governance. He is a former coach with Rye Little League, and his wife, Laura, is president of the Rye Board of Education. They have three children, who all attended Rye schools.
Sack encouraged people to volunteer for consideration for the open seats, both at City Council meetings and through the media. He did receive some responses, but said, "It would be fair to say, however, that interested parties were not exactly falling out of the trees."
This did not surprise him, given the number of recent elections and the large time commitment required of serving on the city council. He and the other council members began soliciting friends and acquaintances in an effort to find viable candidates.
"Mainly we were seeking candidates who were problem solvers and consensus builders, and who knew Rye and its people very well."
After talking with about 12 candidates, Sack decided on Mecca and Slack. Both had been recommended by more than one City Council member.
Sack praised Mecca's public service experience and thoughtfulness, and said, "On a council comprised of attorneys and finance professionals, Mr. Mecca brings a different and welcome perspective."
"I believe that Richard Slack has a keen mind and a strong sense of right and wrong," Sack said. "I think these are exactly the type of qualities we need on the City Council."