New councilmen officially sworn in
In the Santaquin City council chambers today, Richard Payne and Matthew Carr were officially sworn in as city councilmen in front of city officials and employees.
By taking the oath of office, Carr and Payne joined Keith Broadhead as the newest representatives of the people of Santaquin. Broadhead could not be present Tuesday afternoon due to a scheduling conflict, but took the oath on Monday before Santaquin City Recorder Susan Farnsworth.
The new councilmen will replace the three out-going members Filip Askerlund, Martin Green, and Brent Vincent.
Immediately following the ceremony, the two councilmen spoke to the audience.
“I promise to do my best,” said Carr. “I love Santaquin and it’s really an honor for me to serve on the council.”
Payne addressed the state of the city, hinting at the controversial sewer issue and calling for Santaquin citizens to help resolve conflict. “There’s a lot of issues in the city right now that need to be looked at and resolved,” he said. “It’s not something that just the city council can do, it’s going to take all of us as citizens of Santaquin to be able to do that.”
Santaquin Mayor James DeGraffenried conducted the ceremony. He thanked the out-going councilmen for their service before offering his own advice to the new councilmen.
“You’re going to enter into a very interesting voyage,” said DeGraffenried to Carr and Payne following their oaths.
He too made a call to the audience to help stop contention around the city. “We need to come together as a city,” he said. “We can heal some of the wounds that have been inflicted in the last little while.”
The oath of office ceremony was especially important to Carr, whose father, Senior Judge Richard Carr, was given the opportunity to officially swear him in. Judge Carr is a retained Senior Judge in the state of Utah after serving for 16 years as a justice court judge for Hurricane, La Verkin, and Springdale, and as a Fifth Judicial District Judge for Washington County.
Judge Carr swore in both Carr and Payne. “(Matthew Carr) didn’t know I was going to swear him in,” said the judge of his son. “He just thought I was coming.”
The judge, who has served as a city council member himself in Hurricane, spoke highly of his son.
“Matt’s a third generation city councilman in our family,” he said. “He’s a good kid, sharp, level-headed. He thinks things out he doesn’t shoot from the hip.”
With the first city council meeting scheduled for Wednesday night, the new councilmen won’t have to wait long to start working. That doesn’t bother Payne or Carr.
“I’m excited, ready to get to work,” said Payne.
“I feel great, I’m excited to start working,” said Carr.
At the end of his speech during the ceremony, Mayor DeGraffenried publicly announced that he would not run again as mayor at the end of his term. “I’ve been in here six years and I’ve only got one year, 11 months, and 27 days left and I will no longer be around,” said DeGraffenried. “So you can look forward to someone running for mayor at that time, it won’t be me.”