The four Richmond City Commissioners elected in November for two-year terms took the oath of office New Year’s Even in a City Hall ceremony.
Mayor Jim Barnes, who has two years remaining in his term, presided over the 5 p.m. ceremony for commissioners Donna Baird, Robert Blythe, Laura King and Jim Newby.
Friends, relatives and well-wishers of the commissioners almost filled the City Hall auditorium for the event.
Judge Jean Chenault Logue, who administered the oath to King and Newby said people may snicker as they hear Kentucky’s oath of office with its pledge of never having been a party to a duel with deadly weapons.
However, Kentucky’s oath is “one of the greatest”, the judge said, because it “reminds us of our history” and the importance of the duties of office holders.
Barnes sworn in Baird while state Rep. Rita Smart, D-Richmond, administered the oath to Blythe.
Each commissioner made brief remarks, mostly of gratitude and promises to do the best possible job for the entire city.
“We’re looking forward to accepting this challenge,” Blythe said, adding that the task of the city’s governing body will indeed be a challenge, just as he it had said two years earlier.
Newby said he will walk slowly as he begins his first elective office but he promised not to “walk backward” or “leave things on the shelf.”
Looking back to the ceremony of two years earlier, Barnes said he believed the city had progressed from the difficulties the city then faced. Morale had improved and both citizens and city employees were more optimistic than they were in 2011, even if city employees may not have been happy with decisions the past commission had made. However, he said he believes the commission had made decisions that were best for the city.
He asked the commissioners to set aside any personal agendas and keep the common good in sight as they begin their terms.
Bill Robinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 624-6690.