Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich and six City Council members took the oath of office during a Thursday morning ceremony that marked yet another seamless transition in local government.
Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady, of Fort Dodge, led the mayor and Councilmen Kim Alstott, Dave Flattery, Andy Fritz, Jeffrey Halter, Terry Moehnke and Don Wilson as they recited the oath before a crowd of about 40 people in the lobby of the Municipal Building, 819 First Ave. S.
“It is a significant event because it defines, more than anything else, why our government works and works so well,” Cady said.
All of the officials sworn in Thursday were elected or re-elected in November.
Bemrich was re-elected with no opposition for his second term.
Fritz was re-elected to his at-large seat. He is starting his second term.
Halter was elected to be an at-large member of the council. He takes the seat held by former Councilman Robert “Barney” Patterson, who did not seek re-election.
Moehnke was elected to represent Ward 1. He defeated former Councilman Mark Taylor. Ward 1 is the western and northwestern part of the city.
Wilson was re-elected to his sixth term representing Ward 2, which is the southern half of the city.
Flattery defeated Richard Higgins to win his second term representing Ward 3. That ward is the northeastern part of the city.
Alstott was unopposed for his second term representing Ward 4, which is the north central portion of Fort Dodge.
The inauguration ceremony began when a color guard from the 133rd Test Squadron, an Iowa Air National Guard unit based in Fort Dodge, marched into the lobby with the flags of the United States and Iowa.
Vickie Reeck, the city’s community development manager, sang the national anthem and Jeff Nemmers, the city clerk and finance director, led the “Pledge of Allegiance.” The Rev. David Barton offered the invocation.
The six councilmen were sworn in first as a group. Then Cady led Bemrich in reciting the oath of office.
Councilman Dean Hill, an at-large member of the Council, whose term doesn’t expire until the end of 2015, was the only elected official who didn’t recite the oath of office.
“We’re excited to get ready to start a new year in 2014 serving you, our community, our citizens,” Bemrich said.