HOLMES BEACH – Nov. 29 was a day of celebration in the city commission chambers at city hall as the city’s new mayor, commissioners and charter review commission members took the oaths of their offices.
The chamber was packed with cheering friends, family members, supporters and city hall staff as each person stepped up to take the oath, administered by City Clerk Stacey Johnston.
Elected to the charter review commission are Claudia Carlson, Nancy Deal, Sean Murphy, Edward Upshaw and David Zaccagnino. The charter review commission is expected to begin meeting in January.
Commissioner Pat Morton stepped up to take the oath for the ninth time, having first been elected to the city commission in 2003.
The new commissioner on the dais this year is Commissioner Kim Rash, who received the most votes in the November election. This is Rash’s first term as commissioner.
Commissioner turned Mayor Judy Titsworth also took the oath of office, making her the fifth female mayor of Holmes Beach.
After the formalities were completed and the elected officials had a moment to be congratulated by their family and friends, the commissioners and mayor took to the dais for the city’s annual organizational meeting.
Commissioner Jim Kihm was elected as the new chair in a 4-1 vote with Morton dissenting. Morton was elected as vice-chair for the city commission in a 3-2 vote with Kihm and Rash dissenting.
At the end of the meeting, Rash took the opportunity to thank his friends, family and supporters who helped him make his way to a commission seat. “We had a real uphill battle,” he said.
Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer greeted the newly elected officials by saying, “Welcome to all and good luck.” Building Official Jim McGuinness also offered his congratulations.
As the meeting concluded, Titsworth said she’s feeling good about her new position and is “ready to get going.”
Kihm said he was happy to be elected as commission chair and said he’s looking forward to working with the new commission and hopes the coming year will be a good one for the city.
Also attending the meeting was former Mayor Bob Johnson, who said he’s feeling good about sitting on the other side of the dais and is looking forward to political retirement to spend more time with his wife and family.
The newly seated commission is scheduled to have its first regular meeting at 6 p.m. Dec. 11 at city hall.