More than 400 attendees gathered at the Orange County Convention Center yesterday for the Orange County Oath of Office Ceremony. Orange County District 1 Commissioner Betsy VanderLey and District 5 Commissioner Emily Bonilla were sworn in for their first terms, while District 3 Commissioner Pete Clarke was sworn in for his second term.
District 1 Commissioner VanderLey takes the seat after Commissioner S. Scott Boyd served two terms; Commissioner Clarke will serve District 3 for another term and was originally elected in 2012. District 5 Commissioner Bonilla takes the seat after Commissioner Ted Edwards served the District from 1996 through 2004 and was elected again in 2010 and 2012.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orange County District 2 Commissioner Bryan Nelson, former District 1 Commissioner S. Scott Boyd and former Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty were among the many who attended the ceremony to welcome the newly elected commissioners. Nelson represents the district that includes Apopka.
Mayor Jacobs provided the ceremony’s closing remarks and reflected on the importance of public service, decision-making and the critical relationship between elected officials and the community.
“As we prepare for a new commission and a new year, as we embark on new partnerships for everything from transportation to housing to job creation. One thing that is not new, one partnership that is invaluable is the partnership that we have with our citizens,” Mayor Jacobs said. “Working together with the entire Board, with our local government agencies, and each of you, we will continue to build an Orange County in which all may flourish.”
WFTV Channel 9 news anchor Jorge Estevez provided welcome remarks and emceed the ceremony, Chaplain Jim Schrader of Orange County Corrections delivered the invocation, the Central Florida Council of Boy Scouts of America offered the Presentation of Colors, Colonel Edwin R. Marrero, U.S. Army Retired, Chairman of the Orange County Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Council, led the Pledge of Allegiance and Orange County Convention Center employee Linda Hall performed the National Anthem.
Commissioner VanderLey was sworn in by Chief Judge C. Alan Lawson of the Fifth District Court of Appeal, Commissioner Clarke was sworn in by Circuit Judge Wilfredo Martinez of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court and Commissioner Bonilla was sworn in by Circuit Judge Tina Caraballo of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court.
The seven elected members, including Mayor Jacobs, serve four-year terms on the Orange County Board of County Commissioners. District 1, 3 and 5 commissioners are elected in presidential election years. Elections for Orange County Mayor and District 2, 4 and 6 commissioner seats will be held in 2018.