AUBURN - On the first day of the new year, Auburn's new mayor presided over his first council meeting as the former mayor watched on.
Michael Quill was inaugurated Tuesday at West Middle School as former Mayor Timothy Lattimore handed over the title and the gavel. Councilors Gilda Brower and Thomas McNabb also were sworn in during the noon ceremony.
More then 200 people attended the ceremony, mostly Auburn residents eager to see the
direction the fresh council will take, Quill said.
The 40-minute ceremony took place in the school and not city hall to accommodate the large number of people interested in celebrating the start of a new year and council for Auburn.
“It's right they should be here,” Quill added.
Quill donned his reading glasses and read a speech in which he repeatedly stressed his campaign's main goal, teamwork and the “frank exchange of ideas.”
Brower was sworn in first, with her hand on a red Bible with gold pages. McNabb followed, and recited the oath for his fourth time, and Quill was inaugurated last.
Outgoing Councilor David Dempsey did not attend the meeting.
Afterward, the Auburn City Council had its first meeting as a whole, with Brower, McNabb, and of course, Quill at the helm.
Like all three elected officials, Brower thanked those who supported her.
“My predecessors, Matt Smith and Bill Graney, are two years in their tenure and they already have such a handle on things. I'm dying to get there,” Brower said. “I can't wait to sink my teeth into the first challenge.”
On the first day of his fourth term, McNabb said it was time to look to the future to stabilize property taxes.
Quill too looked ahead in his remarks. He recited a long wish list, from an updated housing stock, to growing population, from more investors and tourism to high-skilled jobs.
“I believe Auburn has to aggressively sell itself to get those kind of jobs,” he said.
Quill knows there are several things to tackle now that he is mayor, but said there isn't a specific list of priorities yet. Energy is something the nation is struggling with, and Quill plans to continue Lattimore's efforts to find inexpensive and renewable sources.
Meanwhile, Smith said thank you and farewell to Lattimore, who himself spoke briefly about his time as mayor. Smith thanked Lattimore as a taxpayer for his work to stabilize energy costs, and trying to bring funding and interest to Auburn.
“The mayor makes close to $12,000,” Smith said. “I think we got our money's worth.”
“It's been a pleasure,” Lattimore said, his voice cracking with emotion.
He added that he knew Quill will do a good job because he loves Auburn.
“We all want Auburn to grow and prosper,” Quill said later.
Staff writer Jessica Soule can be reached at 253-5311. ext. 267 or firstname.lastname@example.org