(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A new Mayor, city council members and a municipal judge were sworn into office Monday afternoon.
Mayor Bill McMurray, eight council members and Municipal Judge John Boeh celebrated their inauguration with a reception at City Hall following the initial ceremony and a breif council meeting.
During his inaugural speech, McMurray spoke about unity within the council and the community.
"We can do better together. Indeed, it is only by working together that we will build a better St. Joseph," McMurray said. "No citizen can do everything, but every citizen can do something."
He also asked the public to give more time to volunteering or giving back to the community.
"Give up your time. Volunteer with one of our many community organizations," McMurray said. "Become involved in city or county or political committees. Start and/or strengthen one of our community associations."
On this city council sit three returning members, and five new members following February's primary election and April's general election.
Those sworn in on city council include: Brenda Blessing, Brian Myers, Kent O’Dell, Madison Davis, Marty Novak, P.J. Kovac, Gary Roach and Russell Moore.
"If there's some problems in St. Joe I did want to be part of the solution. I wanted to have my voice heard," said new city council member, Russell Moore.
At the inauguration event, many city officials said they will be wasting no time in getting to work.
"We have a great city council. I can't wait to join with them on our first - we have work sessions starting tomorrow [Tuesday] so we're getting right into it," McMurray said.
Following the inauguration, the council met for a brief meeting where they voted on who would take the Deputy Mayor position. The two candidates for the spot were returning council member Kent "Spanky" O'Dell, and new member Brian Myers.
In a 5-3 vote, with only McMurray opting out of the vote, O'Dell took the spot as Deputy Mayor of St. Joseph.
"It's time to tighten the belts and see what we can do with the next four years," O'Dell said.
As the council moves forward, O'Dell said there's a few big issues they will have to face in the coming weeks.
"The new council will be introduced to a large budget, $150 Million budget, right off the bat. And it's kind of-it's an eye opener," O'Dell said.
McMurray said increasing crime was a huge issue for the city officials which he hopes to tackle right away.
"I want to talk to some people about the Blue Ribbon Crime Commission. I want to get that going. That's going to be a Mayor's Advisory Commission," McMurray said. "I already have several people who said they would be on it. So, I want to get that going and tackle the crime problem and I've talked to the Chief and the Prosecutor-Elect so we are going to get busy on that."
McMurray ended his inaugural speech with a words inspired by President John F. Kennedy.
"Ask not what St. Joseph can do for you, ask what you can do for St. Joseph," McMurray said.
The next city council meeting will be held Monday, April 23rd at 7 p.m.
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