AUBURN — Debby McCormick and Terry Cuddy renewed their oaths of office for a second four-year term as Auburn city councilors on New Year's Day.

“I'd like to thank the voters of Auburn for sending Terry and Debby back to this council,” Mayor Michael Quill said.

Speaking of the whole council, he added, “we have respect for each other, we have compassion, we have diverse backgrounds, but our thrust is to make the city of Auburn better and better.”

Both councilors expressed immense gratitude for being re-elected.

“Thank you all, and all the residents of the city of Auburn for believing in me and trusting me to serve another four years as your city councilor. I am honored, very honored, to be elected to serve a second term,” McCormick said.

“I will continue to represent the city of Auburn, the people, its history, and its future,” Cuddy said after thanking voters for his re-election.

Facing the challenge of Owasco Lake was something both councilors mentioned in their speeches, and McCormick said helping that situation improve is what she is most looking forward to in this term.

“Everything is dependent on the lake,” McCormick said referencing businesses, quality of life, and tourism, among others. “We have a lot of important work to do in the next four years and I cannot think of a better person to work with than Councilor Terry Cuddy.”

Cuddy said this year he is most looking forward to seeing economic projects come to fruition.

“There has been progress over the last four years, many of us will especially see it this summer as several economic development and infrastructures projects are in full swing,” Cuddy said. “One notable project in particular is the construction of the Equal Rights Heritage Center right here, in the heart of history's hometown.”

Along with the Equal Rights Heritage Center, there has also been development of the Harriet Tubman National Park, waterfront revitalization, and partnerships with Cayuga Community College,

Listening well is a lesson both McCormick and Cuddy learned during their last term and plan to carry with them ahead.

“I learned to listen and not give up, to be persistent,” McCormick said, adding that she learned the importance of working with others, especially when you disagree.

“Slowing things down is a good thing,” Cuddy added when he said he learned to listen and give things time in order to understand them more fully.

Former Auburn Mayor Melina Carnicelli said she's witnessed McCormick and Cuddy serve humbly and valiantly, and noted that who they are as individuals and the skill sets they offer, “is exactly what will lead this city forward with care, high energy, optimism, good humor, and economic progress.”

She added, “on behalf of all here gathered, I offer congratulations as well as gratitude for your willingness to serve in elected office.”

Staff Writer Megan Ehrhart can be reached at 315-282-2244 or megan.ehrhart@lee.net or on Twitter @MeganEhrhart.

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