The wait is finally over, and the Apopka 2016 election-cycle has officially ended. Commissioners Doug Bankson and Kyle Becker were sworn-in today at a short ceremony at the Apopka Community Center/VFW. Friends and family of Becker and Bankson attended, along with elected officials, dignitaries, supporters and the public.
Mayor Joe Kilsheimer opened the proceedings with a look to the future.
“Today is a day of new beginnings for the City of Apopka,” he said. “We welcome our two new commissioners, Doug Bankson and Kyle Becker. I want to again offer my congratulations on behalf of the Apopka community, thank you for stepping up and offering yourself for public service. As you have already learned, it’s not easy getting to this point. It’s hard work! And there is more hard work that lies ahead. There are big and complex challenges facing Apopka. But, as Mark Twain wrote: ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started.’ And so we’re going to begin tackling Apopka’s major challenges by swearing in our new elected officials.”
Bankson’s father Reverend Roger Bankson administered the Oath of Office to him. Afterwards he spoke of service and a call to unite.
“Someone at The Art and Foliage Festival asked me what my passion was,” he said. “Serving is the passion of my heart.”
He also referenced his opponent Commissioner Sam Ruth’s thoughts on Seat #3.
“As my predecessor stated so well… this seat does not belong to me, it belongs to the people. It’s like a great relay race.”
In closing he called for unity in Apopka.
“We may have different ideas, but we need to come together, and we come together now to move forward and I thank you for this opportunity.”
Becker was sworn-in by Reverend John Fisher of The First United Methodist Church of Apopka.
He began by calling for a round of applause for his opponent.”
“Commissioner Bill Arrowsmith approached me today with kind words and I want to take this moment to thank him for his service to Apopka,” he said to applause from the audience for Arrowsmith.
He went on to speak about responsibility, commitment and desire.
"I stand here today as a result of a very hard six-month campaign," he said. "But now the campaign is over, and the time to work is upon me, and that is to lead responsibly and deliver on the commitments I have made to the residents of Apopka. I embark on a 4-year journey that is predicated on a love for community, a desire to serve, and to always improve as a city and as a commissioner. Accountability, empathy, and action will be the pillars of my term, and I am more than excited to get started."
Bankson and Becker will occupy Seats#3 and #4 for the first time officially at the City Council Meeting on Wednesday, May 4th at 1:30pm.
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