’21-22 Commission takes oath of office

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State Rep. Buddy Wheatley, at far right, administers the oath of office to, from left, Commissioners Tim Downing and Ron Washington, Mayor Joe Meyer, and Commissioners Shannon Smith and Michelle Williams.

But inauguration reception canceled by pandemic

COVINGTON, Ky. – The “pomp” was non-existent. The “circumstance” was limited to the bare minimum required by law. But in a private and mostly perfunctory swearing-in event that included face masks and social distancing, the five newly elected members of the 2021-22 Covington Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night took the oath of office.
 
In normal election cycles, such “official” events – which includes the formal oath and the signing of legal documents – is followed a week or so later by a festive and public ceremonial reception that includes speeches and refreshments.
 
But that “party” won’t be held this year, joining the list of events canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on public gatherings.
 
More than 100 people attended the last inauguration two years ago at The Carnegie theater and art gallery. But last night, only eight family members and City staff watched on the second floor of Otto’s restaurant in MainStrasse Village as Rep. Buddy Wheatley – who represents Covington in the Kentucky House of Representatives – issued the oath to Mayor Joe Meyer and four City Commissioners.
 
The four are newcomer Ron Washington, who as the top vote-getter in the November commission election assumes the role of vice mayor, and returnees Michelle Williams, Shannon Smith, and Tim Downing.
 
The five members of the City Commission hail from five different neighborhoods.
 
The first meeting of the new Commission will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5, and will be held virtually because of the pandemic.
 
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