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Demone Smith resigns from Common Council

Michael Mroziak/WBFO News

Demone Smith has resigned as the Buffalo Common Council's Masten District representative to take another city job.Smith announced Tuesday he is taking the position of executive director for the Buffalo Employment and Training Center, starting this Friday.

Smith said the position had been open for about a year and he expressed his interest in the post. His job will involve getting residents prepared to work in a city that he says will see about 12,000 new job openings over the next few years.

"If we want to see the continued growth in the city, you've got to have a workforce that's ready to take advantage of the these jobs," Smith said.

Smith called his fellow council members a "group of great guys" and said he is proud of the work the body has accomplished.

"During a countywide recession, we were able to hold the City of Buffalo whole and actually grow the city, increase the credit rating and contingency funding," he said.

Council president Darius Pridgen was among those paying tribute to Smith on the council floor Tuesday afternoon. He and his colleagues will now need to find not only a new Masten District representative, but also a new majority leader.

"Because the majority leader is voted on by the council members, we will, more than likely at the beginning of the next meeting of the Common Council in two weeks, solidify who will become the president pro temp and the majority leader," Pridgen said.

Pridgen says that the city will post for resumes in the near future to fill the council seat. The seat is up for re-election in November.

No timeline has been set for finding a replacement.