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New members of Johnson City Commission, BOE sworn in

May 7th, 2007 11:18 pm by COREY SHOUN

JOHNSON CITY - Sunny skies and good feelings ruled the day during Monday's inauguration ceremony for newly elected Johnson City Commission and Board of Education members.

"We have a great group now. We are very fortunate," city resident Jim Starr said just after Phil Roe, Jeff Banyas and Marcy Walker were sworn in as city commissioners.

"You see the kind of weather we've got and the turnout - that's the way it's beginning, let's hope they keep it up."

Hundreds of city residents showed up for the inauguration on the steps of City Hall.

Jenny Brock, Tim Belisle and Ralph Jay Van Brocklin took the oath of office as new members of the school board, replacing Walker, Karen Smith and Dick Manahan on that panel.

Banyas and Walker replace former commissioners Ricky Mohon, who had served eight years, and Pete Paduch, who had served 12 years with two years as mayor. Roe, vice mayor for the past two years, was returned for his second term.

The newly elected commissioners will join Mayor Steve Darden and Commissioner Jane Myron on May 17 for their first regular meeting. The new school board members immediately jumped into the fray with a meeting Monday night.

"Inauguration day signals the transition from being a winning candidate to fulfilling the actual service obligation," Darden said. "The new school board members have a meeting right away and the new commissioners will soon be immersed in the city budget process."

For Roe, the day was about soaking up success, appreciating the turnout and looking forward to working with an energetic group.

"There's not a cloud in the sky," Roe said. "I think the people are excited about the direction the city is taking."

For Banyas and Walker, however, they began to whittle away at the learning curve.

"We want to hit the ground running," Banyas said. "We are going to have to depend on the wisdom and experience of the existing commission."

Walker has experienced a budget process on several occasions, though she admits the citywide budget process is a bit daunting.

"I've gone through the schools budget before but this is a lot bigger ... but it's exciting."

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