by: John Barrette
Despite a hitch that didn’t rise to a glitch, 11 Carson City officials were sworn in Monday for new terms in office.
The hitch was the fact Chief Justice James Hardesty got delayed and wasn’t able to make the 10 a.m. ceremony at the court house until three of the 11 were sworn in by District Judge James T. Russell. Russell said he had been sworn in earlier by a notary public in case any hitch developed. Russell had then sworn in District Judge James E. Wilson Jr., also before the official ceremony as well.
Russell administered the oath and swore in Assessor David A. Dawley, Clerk-Recorder Susan Merriwether, District Attorney Jason D. Woodbury, Sheriff Kenneth T. Furlong and Treasurer Alan P. Kramer. Wilson handled the swearing-in of Supervisors Karen Abowd and Lorraine H. Bagwell, who are from Wards 1 and 3, respectively; and school Trustees Ron Swirczek, Stacie Wilke, Ryan Green, and Deonne Contine, who represent, respectively, Districts 1, 3, 4 and 6.
“I’m excited to begin this journey,” said Supervisor Lori Bagwell, who later Monday sat in her initial Board of Supervisors meeting after defeating John McKenna in last November’s election.
Supervisor Abowd, beginning her second term, said it was great to see the new third floor court room packed with people, more crowded than her first swearing-in ceremony four years ago. She said she looks forward to working on moving the city and city government forward in her second term. Bagwell and Abowd hugged after taking their oath together and shaking hands with the judge, the first to congratulate them.
The sheriff was subjected to some ex parte humor by Russell before taking his oath. The judge said he couldn’t recall how many terms Furlong had served, joshing that the head of local law enforcement seemed like Carson City’s “sheriff for life.” Furlong afterward said it was his fourth term, adding as he did that the city is doing well. “Everything is going so well I just can’t believe it,” he said.
Furlong credited, in part, public input and he joined Abowd in noting the crowd at the ceremony. Giving an example, he said his office had caught a burglar over the weekend due to help from the public.
“This is a tight community,” Furlong added.
Woodbury, assuming his first term as district attorney, called being sworn in a great honor and also referred to the seats filled with people, saying he had seen in the audience many for whom he has respect.
The chief justice apologized for his tardiness as he entered just after Woodbury became the third local official sworn in by Russell. The local officials ceremony was put on hold as he delivered brief remarks and took on the chore he had come to handle.
He thanked the district judges, praised their work and thanked them for their help in getting the state constitutional amendment approved by voters to set up a state Court of Appeals. He then administered the oath to Russell and Wilson even though they had technically been sworn in earlier to deal with the possible hitch that did wind up developing.