By Katie Dahlstrom
---- — CLINTON — In the second day of 2014, the city of Clinton welcomed a new council as five council members were sworn into leadership positions at City Hall.
Ward 1 Councilwoman Julie Allesee, Ward 2 Councilwoman Lynn McGraw, Ward 3 Councilman Ed O’Neill, and At-Large councilmen Tom Determann and Grant Wilke took the official oath during a brief ceremony Thursday at City Hall.
Seventh Judicial District Judge Nancy Tabor swore in each of the new council members, moving them from council people elect to official council members.
With their right hands raised, each new city leader swore to discharge all the duties of a council member faithfully and to the best of his or her ability.
Determann and Wilke won at-large positions outright in the November election, much to their surprise as well as their opponents, who felt the five-person race would yield a run-off election. Former At-Large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf was out-voted in her bid for re-election while Charlie Mulholland chose not to run.
This will be Determann’s first time in an elected position, whereas Wilke was previously a Clinton County Supervisor.
“Some of you just can’t get enough of public service,” Tabor said before administering Wilke’s oath.
Because of redistricting that occurred between the time she was elected in 2011 and the latest election, former Ward 2 Councilwoman Allesee had to choose between running for an at-large or the ward one seat. She opted for the latter, beating former Ward 1 Councilwoman Maggie Klaes.
The will be O’Neill’s second time in a city council seat. Before he ran for mayor in 2011 and was defeated in a runoff election by Mayor Mark Vulich, he served as an at-large councilman from mid-2003 to 2006. He left his position early for a job at the Clinton Regional Development Corp.
Ward 2 Councilwoman Lynn McGraw ran unopposed for her seat.
After making the new council members’ terms official, Tabor wished them good luck.
“Congratulations to all of you. You’ve taken on a very serious and tough job,” Tabor said. “I live in the county, but I’m sure the citizens of Clinton are very proud to have people that are willing to take on this tough job. It’s a lot of important things that happen here at City Hall that a lot of people don’t even realize go on.”
All council members have noted an interest in financial controls as they serve the citizens of Clinton.
As the bridge between new council members and those still in office, Ward 4 Councilman Paul Gassman and At-Large Councilman John Rowland, Allesee said she hopes to continue the strong communication that was prevalent among the previous council members.
“I felt this past couple of years we were building a good relationship between the council members and I think that’s very important moving forward,” Allesee said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to work with all of the new people through my previous jobs. I know all of their personalities and I have a good relationship with all of them.”
The council will meet for the first time Tuesday for a strategic planning session.
The swearing-in ceremony officially marked the departure of outgoing council members Klaes, Hermann, Graf and Mulholland, who were honored at a ceremony on Dec. 12.