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January 3, 2013 Published in City Hall, Top Stories

New Alexandria City Council Takes Office

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By Carla Branch
alexandrianews.org

Incoming City Council is sworn in by Circuit Court Clerk Ed Semonian at T.C. Williams Auditorium. (Photo: Wayne Hulehan)

Incoming City Council is sworn in by Circuit Court Clerk Ed Semonian at T.C. Williams Auditorium. (Photo: Wayne Hulehan)

The results of the Nov. 6, 2012, local elections were implemented last night as Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille and the six members of the Alexandria City Council took their oaths of office. Euille is beginning his fourth term as mayor; Del Pepper, her tenth term as a member of Council; Paul Smedberg, his fourth term on Council; Tim Lovain, his second term on Council; Justin Wilson, his second term on Council; John Chapman, his first term on Council; and Allison Silberberg, her first term on Council.

Don Ledwig, the secretary of the Alexandria Electoral Board, read the results of the Nov. 6, 2012, election and Clerk of the Alexandria Circuit Court Ed Semonian administered the oath of office to Mayor Euille and the members of the City Council. Euille called the organizational meeting to order and Pepper nominated the top Council vote-getter to be the vice mayor.

“I would like to nominate Allison Silberberg to be the vice mayor,” Pepper said. “She has many talents that will make her very qualified for this job.”

Smedberg seconded Pepper’s nomination and Silberberg was unanimously elected. Then, Euille allowed each Council member and the outgoing members of Council to speak.

“I want to thank the outgoing members of Council for their service to Alexandria and I look forward to working with the new members,” Euille said. “We accomplished a lot in the past three years and now we must build on those accomplishments. I will continue to look for ways to increase affordable housing in the City. Also, we will work hard to engage all Alexandria through our What’s Next Alexandria program.”

Mayor Euille is worn in for another term by Circuit Court Clerk Ed Semonian. (Photo: Wayne Hulehan)

Mayor Euille is sworn in for another term by Circuit Court Clerk Ed Semonian. (Photo: Wayne Hulehan)

Then, it was Silberberg’s turn. “Thank you Mrs. Pepper and Mr. Smedberg for your nomination,” Silberberg said. “I am looking forward to working with all of my colleagues.

“I believe you start with a core vision and then develop plans. Alexandria is a gift, a national treasure. I plan to work hard to keep it a national treasure for generations to come. I also want to hear from all Alexandria. I will be starting Council On Your Corner by holding meetings every month at various coffee shops around the city. Come join me for a cappuccino and tell me what’s on your mind. My colleagues are invited as well,” Silberberg said.

Pepper thanked her campaign team and the voters for allowing her to serve another term. “I look forward to implementing the waterfront plan, the Beauregard Small Area Plan and the Landmark/Van Dorn plan,” she said. “Since the Hughes Corporation bought Landmark Mall, I think you are going to see plans move forward for redeveloping that very important area. Like the mayor, I, too, am committed to increasing affordable housing in the City.”

Smedberg was the only Council member who spoke for his allotted three minutes. “I would like to thank the outgoing council members for their service. Rob Krupicka and I were elected together in 2003 and before that served on the Alexandria Democratic Committee together. We have worked on many important projects and I look forward to working with Rob in his new role in Richmond,” Smedberg said.

Chapman thanked current and former Council members for mentoring him. “I would also like to thank my mom because she’s the main reason I am up here tonight,” he said. “She is a single mom who raised two kids and saw that we both were well educated. One of us owns a business and the bad kid has just been sworn in as a member of the Alexandria City Council. I think she did pretty well.”

Lovain talked about diversity and smart growth. “My grandfather was a Swedish immigrant who came to live in Chicago,” he said. “Like kids today, his children learned English in school and wanted to speak English but he wanted them to speak Swedish. Immigrants have made this country great and I am proud of the 80 or so languages that are spoken in homes in Alexandria and of our City’s diversity.”

Wilson spoke about his commitment to public service and thanked voters and the outgoing members of Council. “I would particularly like to thank Kerry Donley and David Speck for their decades of service, which might be coming to an end tonight. Some of those decades of service even happened in my lifetime,” he said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on Council and look forward to hearing from everyone in Alexandria. I want to hear your ideas.”

The T. C. Williams High School choir performed and choir member Samantha Williams sang the national anthem. The Alexandria fire, police and sheriff joint honor guard presented the colors. After the meeting, there was a reception in the cafeteria.

Council will hold the first legislative meeting on Jan. 8.

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