Auburn City Attorney Dan Heid swore four city leaders into office Tuesday night at Auburn City Hall, all but one of them taking the oath for a second term.
Mayor Nancy Backus, council members Claude DaCorsi and Yolanda Trout-Manuel said the words to begin their second go-around while Larry Brown pronounced them for the first time.
Brown takes the place of the longest serving council member in Auburn’s history, Rich Wagner, who was looking on from somewhere in the capacity audience. Wagner served 27 years on the City Council before his retirement.
Backus, the first woman elected to serve as Auburn’s mayor, briefly summoned the specter of her 2017 campaign against Deputy Mayor Largo Wales, a hard-fought, often bitter and ultimately successful contest to win a second term.
“I want to thank those who were part of our reelection campaign, Lord knows I don’t want to relive another 2017, except for November,” said Backus, to applause, a rippling of murmurs, and a few amens from the crowd. “I want to thank each one of you that believed that what we were doing was the right thing to do, and that we were continue on with that work for another four years. It means so much to me that you were part of that process.”
Wales was not there for the swearing in, but was present for the regular council session that followed.
Backus said under her leadership in the next four years, the City will continue to have a strong regional voice and make strides in the sectors of economic development and affordable housing.
In particular, she thanked the community for its big hearted response to the people displaced by the Dec. 26 Heritage Building fire, singling out Debbie Christian, executive director of the Auburn Food Bank, for her exemplary work.
“Auburn always comes through,” Backus said.
Brown, said his primary goal wills first of all to learn all he can about the job, but he noted the challenge of filling Wagner’s oversized shoes.
“I’ve got a lot of reading to do, and I hope to learn from all of my fellow council members,” Brown said.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the work that they do, with the integrity with which they do it, and their dedication to the people that they serve,” Backus said of the council members.