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Legislature to vote on Hicks for NFTA seat

By Denise Jewell Gee

Democrats in the Erie County Legislature plan to recommend a surgeon and professor to serve as a Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority commissioner.

Legislature Chairwoman Betty Jean Grant, a Buffalo Democrat, will seek a vote to recommend Dr. Wesley L. Hicks Jr., a head and neck surgeon, to fill a vacancy on the NFTA’s Board of Commissioners. If approved by the full Legislature on Thursday, the recommendation would go to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for an appointment.

Hicks is chairman of the Department of Head & Neck Surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and is a professor at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Services.

The Democrats, in a resolution submitted to the County Legislature, cited Hicks’ “solid credentials and a deep commitment to our region,” as well as his “energy and enthusiasm for the appointment.”

If his nomination is approved by Cuomo, Hicks would fill a commissioner’s seat left open after James J. Eagan resigned to become secretary of the Democratic State Committee. The remaining term would expire in June 2016.

Hicks was one of three people interviewed last week by a Legislature committee for the position. Former Council member Jeffrey Conrad, director of Erie County Center for Employment Opportunity, and Margaret A. Murphy, an attorney and former city court judge, also interviewed for the post.

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Betty Jean Grant | Erie County Legislature
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