With the passing of every election we turn to the task of organizing the civic ritual of swearing-in our community's newly elected officials. It is at this time the candidates and politicians of 2012 become the public servants of 2013 and beyond. We are here to honor their efforts and to celebrate the democratic, peaceful and orderly transition of office in our local governments. But this is more than simply a civic ritual, It’s a celebration and a renewal of an ages old pact, one that defines the legitimate use of government power, the limits on that power, the people who may wield it and their obligations to the citizens of our community from which these powers derive.
A Note To all 2012 Candidates:
In elections, as in much of life, the dividing line between victory and defeat can be slim and even when not, we should celebrate all those who worked hard and ran compelling races, but did not in the end prevail. We owe a debt of gratitude as a community to all of our citizens willing to step into the arena of public life and community service.
Let's hear it for all of our community's 2010 candidates!
To our Newly Elected Officials:
It is no light matter to enter into public service. We hear time and time again complaints that so few choose to run and to serve. But you have. And for that we thank you.
No one sworn in here today has an easy task before them. Many struggle in our community to meet basic needs against the backdrop of local, state and national economic struggle. Many are looking to you as elected officials to provide critical services amidst declining resources. And many hope for leaders to stand above it all – the arguments and squabbles – despite politics being perhaps the most quintessentially human enterprise.
And although the challenges are many, our community is strong and resilient. In no small part due to the caliber of officials serving, officials that have served before, and officials to be sworn-in here today.
Candidates asked for the support of the people of Monroe County for their campaigns. Now it's time for them to earn that support yet again through their elected service, as best they can, to the people of Monroe County. Please join me in thanking all who will now represent our community in government.
(As delivered by Rick Dietz, Jan 1, 2013)