Richmond City Commissioners take oaths of office

Dec. 31—Sierra Marling

The mayor and three members of the Richmond City Commission were sworn into office on Dec. 29 night at City Hall

The commissioners were sworn in individually, with someone of their choosing administering Kentucky's oath.

In front of a small and supportive crowd, the commissioners pledged their loyalty to the state and national constitutions and confirmed they have never participated in or facilitated a duel with deathly weapons.

Before the commissioners and mayor took their oaths, District Judge Earl-Ray Neal and Richmond City Manager Rob Minerich set aside time to express gratitude to various city departments and employees for their roles in assisting with a major leak at the hall of justice on Christmas Day.

"They always show up," Neal remarked of the Richmond Fire Department's speedy response.

"It is something to ponder next time they ask for a raise," he added.

Neal then proceeded to swear-in Mike Brewer, a long-term presence on the commission with 20 years of experience in public service.

In his remarks, Brewer noted some "wins" the city has had in recent years and said that — while there is more work to do — "the ship is headed in the right direction."

"I promise all of you that I will always have Richmond first in my heart. I will do everything in my power to continue to move this city forward," he said after being sworn in as a city commissioner.

Neal also swore in newcomer Tammy Cole, who Minerich noted is a first-generation student who holds a doctorate degree in Education Leadership and Policy Development from Eastern Kentucky University, where she also teaches part-time in the College of Justice, Safety, and Military Science.

"From beginning to end, this community was good to me," she said in her speech, while also thanking those who supported her in the process of her election. "I said from the beginning that the reason that I was running for commissioner was very simple: It's because I love Richmond, and I want to make this the best place to live and work that I possibly can."

Jim Newby, another incumbent, was sworn-in by Laura Helvey. Newby is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University who also served as a Richmond firefighter for 10 years. He will be serving his fifth term as a Richmond City Commissioner.

After he was sworn in, Newby thanked those who have continuously supported him throughout his campaigns.

The commissioner also said he feels more optimistic than he has ever before and feels like he is an equal part of a team. Newby pledged to continue to do what is best for the city without compromising the citizens' wellbeing.

"But most of all, I will continue to always tell you the truth," he closed.

Mayor Robert Blythe was the last to be sworn in by Honorable Anthony Gray—as he has been before— to serve his second term as Mayor of Richmond.

He expressed great thanks to his family, his congregation, and those who work with him in the City of Richmond.

As others did, he thanked those who voted for him; however, he also noted he accepts the challenge from those who did not vote for him, and said he would be the mayor for all people of Richmond.

He gave credit to citizens for community progress, stating, "I still contend that all the good ideas don't come from City Hall. Many of them, as we have seen with the Millstone Park downtown, come from ordinary people who have a simple love for their community."

He acknowledged that much has been accomplished while also mentioning the challenges upcoming for the city, including finding a new normal amid "the health concern storm."

He closed with a small quote from the Apostle Paul, from the book of I Timothy, saying, "I thank Christ Jesus my Lord who has given me strength, that he has considered me trustworthy of appointing me to His service. Thank you, and God bless you."

Newcomer Mendi Goble was sworn in a couple of weeks before on Dec. 13 by her father-in-law Elder Goble.