The winners of the 2013 municipal elections were sworn into their offices in a ceremony at the Durham Public Library Nov. 24.
Former First Selectman Maryann Boord served as Master of Ceremonies for the event, which also featured remarks from current First Selectman Laura Francis.
Francis thanked all of the candidates on the ballot, whether they won or lost. “I am in awe of all the candidates,” Francis said. “Until you’ve done it, you don’t know how hard it is to put your name out there.”
Francis called all of the officials “true partners” in town government and said that Durham government has functioned “without rancor.”
“I am grateful for that every single day,” Francis said.
According to Town Clerk Kim Garvis, who conducted each swearing in, the ceremony traditionally takes place on the Sunday before the first Monday of December, which is the date most of the officials actually take their office. Since that Sunday is during Thanksgiving weekend, the ceremony was moved one week earlier this year.
Although other people can conduct the swearing in, Garvis said she does it to maintain the tradition. “I’m just following what Laura Francis used to do,” Garvis said. Francis previously served as Durham’s Town Clerk.
Rev. Elven Riggles offered a benediction that echoed the sentiments of Boord and Francis. Riggles wished the officials wisdom, peace, and service free of partisanship.
A crowd of approximately 40 watched the ceremony. Aferwards, Lyman Orchard cider and cake — decorated with the Durham town seal — was served. Many in the audience were present to watch family members sworn in, including Francis, who witnessed her son Eric Francis take his position as a Zoning Board of Appeals alternate.
Chris DiPentima also was sworn in to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Loraine Coe, Laurie Tuttle, Martin Anderson, and Molly Nolan took their positions on the Board of Finance. Debra DeFelice was sworn in on the Board of Assessment Appeals.
The largest group came from the Planning and Zoning Commission. Alana Adams, Lisa Davenport, Joseph Pasquale, David Foley, and Christopher Flanagan were sworn in together.