As the sun went down on an all day lake effect Matthew "Matt" Rayo's supporters trekked over to City Hall. The youngest Common Councilor (district one) in Syracuse history was sworn into office on his grandfather's red bible just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday Dec. 23 by the honorable Judge Anthony Paris.
"God Bless you for stepping up to the plate," Paris said and he meant it. He said with the city,county, state, country and the world in trauma, we look to your youth. Rayo and the judge go way back, as the 23-year-old common councilor attended pre-school with Paris's son on the North Side.
District three's Ryan McMahon fittingly made the introductions, as he previously held the distinction of the youngest Syracuse legislator, and had also worked on Rayo's campaign.
Born and raised in Syracuse, the CBA, ESF graduate addressed the gathering with great poise and said he was excited to start working as, "The city of Syracuse has a lot of challenges."
For many of the three dozen plus attendees, this was their first time in the Common Council's Chamber; Rayo's mother Susan Marie Rayo echoed her son, summing up the feeling in the room, "This is exciting."
Councilor Rayo will be coming into a new city hall administration as Mayor elect Stephanie Miner also starts work on Jan. 1. "It's a good time to be new to the process," Rayo said.
And, he is devoting a lot of time to his new position, working outside city hall only one night a week at Wings over Syracuse in the Nottingham Plaza.
"I have a lot of time, and not a lot of bills," he said.
Even the incumbent Democrat Michael Heagerty, who lost his seat on the council to Rayo, is excited about the time and energy Rayo will bring to District one. "He'll do a good job for the people in our district," he said.