Old Guard, New Beginnings: New Casper City Council Members Take Oath of Office
It was a night of next chapters and new beginnings at the Casper City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 3.
Before the official meeting, the City Council agreed to use the label 'Councilor' instead of 'Council Member' from that point forward.
Once the meeting began, outgoing councilors offered final words, and new councilors offered their first.
There were tears, hugs, handshakes and congratulations all around.
It was a changing of the guard in the best sense of the phrase, as the councilors who were leaving gave their well wishes and even a bit of advice to those new members who were taking their seats.
"Thank you guys for allowing us the opportunity to serve, even if it was just for a few months," said Councilor Kenyne Humphrey. "I call it a short sentence, but truly it was like coming back home to see family. A lot of faces I missed, a lot of growth that you guys have all done. The council is so insightful and in-tune and, I have to say, so much smarter than I was. I just want to tell everybody thank you. It's been an honor just to even sit and listen to the discussion. I've learned a lot. So thank you guys. You're gonna have an amazing four years ahead of you."
Councilor Jaiayla Sutherland was also thankful for the opportunity to have served.
"Similar to my colleagues, I think the biggest thing I have to say is just thank you very much for the opportunity of being chosen just a little over a year ago," she said. "It's just been a tremendous learning opportunity and I think, more than anything, just having the opportunity to work with all of you has been really wonderful. I leave with just immense gratitude and so much respect for our city."
It was Councilor Michael McIntosh who offered up the best advice of the night, however.
"I want to thank everybody for the opportunity I had to serve for these four months," McIntosh said. "It was a short sentence, but it was very enjoyable. I learned a lot and I was thankful for the opportunity to serve. I look forward to coming back in a couple of years. For those new members coming in, just a couple words of advice: Pay attention, observe, listen, ask questions and then make comments, and you'll get along just fine. These guys are great to work with."
Current councilors offered their well-wishes to the departing councilors, offering their thanks for the time served.
"I'm glad to have this opportunity, because I didn't have the chance to write anything last time," said Councilor Kyle Gamroth. :I wanted to say to council member Sutherland 0 I thought you were incredibly thoughtful, articulate, and intelligent and I really appreciated and benefitted from your perspective during your time on council. I was glad to have gotten to know you and your family, and I wish you the best. Thank you for applying for the open position when you did. And thank you to council members McIntosh and Humphrey. You helped provide stability and nourishment in the way of baked goods, during a period of time when we were down a couple council members. So I just wanted to thank you both for throwing your hats in the ring and taking seriously your duties, even during the short term. It's important to us to have those seats filled to take care of all the important business, and I really appreciate how prepared and capable you guys were for stepping in."
Councilors Steve Cathey and Amber Pollock and then Vice-Mayor Bruce Knell also offered their gratitude to the outgoing councilors, reaffirming how important they were to the proceedings throughout the last four months.
Following those words, new councilors Gena Jensen, Michael Bond, and Brandy Haskins were sworn in and were issued the oath of office by then-Mayor Ray Pacheco.
All three accepted and repeated the oath and, after a brief recess, they returned to claim their seats as new members of the Casper City Council.