Clambering through more than 6 inches of new fallen snow, about 25 people gathered New Year's Day in the outdoor gazebo to watch inauguration ceremonies for new Republican town officials.
Supervisor Paul Sausville, Town Clerk Flo Sickels and her daughter and new council member Tara Thomas were present. Other officials elected in November, council member the Rev. Peter Klotz, highway department Supervisor Tom Adriance, Receiver of Taxes Sylvia Sievers and town Justice James Nichols were not able to attend due to the weather Tuesday, Jan. 1 at 1 p.m.
Since the proceedings were not required under town law, the event was more ceremonial than formal business. The entire slate will be officially sworn in at the beginning of the next business meeting Monday, Jan. 7, at 6:45 p.m.
Walkway paths were cleared through shoulder height snow banks and flakes blew into the gazebo, still festively decorated with garland and a tree.
Following the contentious council meeting on Thursday, Dec. 27, town officials talked about the clean slate they hope to see in the New Year.
We're very optimistic here today, said Sausville. "This is a special way to open the New Year. You hear so many negatives about our town, but this is a good way to start fresh."
Sausville also restated his commitment to represent the town with integrity.
"During the swearing in, we promise to support the Constitution but beyond that, to show the fairness and respect we as public officials must provide," said Sausville. "There are values here underneath everything we do."
Sausville cited the town's growth and development, renovations at the Community Center recently approved at the polls, and the anticipated arrival of the AMD micro-chip fabrication company in the Luther Forest Tech Park as positive signs.
"What you see here from this gazebo is open space, and we need that balance with all the development," said Sausville.