By Jason Schock and Nikki McKim
Falls City Mayor Tim Hersh presided over his last meeting and, shortly thereafter, Mayor Jerry Oliver conducted his first Monday night at the regular meeting of the City Council, held at City Hall, 2307 Barada St. The Oath of Office was given to Mayor Oliver, who won November’s general election over longtime city employee Charlie Bentley, and also to newly elected Council members Don Ferguson (Ward I, Oliver’s former seat) and John Vaughn (Ward III, following Kirby Robidoux). Ferguson was then elected Acting President of the Council after Judy Murphy was elected City Council President.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who encouraged and supported me during the campaign and the election,” Oliver said Monday. “I would also like to thank my family and my wife (Sharryll) and partner for 54 years.”
Oliver’s first order of business was to recommend the reappointment of Gary Jorn as City Clerk/Treasurer/Administrator, Duane Armbruster as Chief of Police and Michael Dunn as City Attorney. He also recommended the hiring of new FC Police Officer Jonathan Kirkendall. All were unanimously appointed by the Council.
Earlier, Hersh, who served one four-year term, thanked the community as a whole, and various community leaders specifically, for their efforts in moving Falls City forward during his term as Mayor
“I’ve seen this community do wonderful things, to grow and prosper and every one of you takes part in that. I am proud to have been a part of this change and I’m still proud to be part of this city,” Hersh said.
“This city is on its way if you keep going and keep pushing as hard as you have, there is no end to the possibilities. You think things are good now, you wait, the best is yet to come,” he said.
Hersh went on to recognize Jorn, EDGE Director Beckie Cromer and Oliver, “all of whom have spent countless hours making the necessary improvements to this city to make it operate smoothly.
“Gary, you have been there for the city. You have sacrificed, given sweat equity and pushed for improvement regardless of popular opinion. You have made wise choices and necessary improvements…you truly are paid only for your time and not what you are truly worth. Keep going, never give up and never settle for good,” Hersh said.
He thanked Mrs. Cromer “for her hard work making this apple shine. You have been instrumental in bringing new businesses into town – there could never be a short way to describe all you do for this community.”
Turning toward the new Mayor, Hersh said he was confident Falls City wouldn’t miss a beat with Oliver running the local government.
“You have been my sounding board and I could always count on you for solid advice,” Hersh said.
“Falls City could not have made me more proud when they elected you as Mayor. I know that you will continue to move this community forward. You will make wise choices. You will listen to what is being said, you can take advice and give it. All marks of a good leader.”
Hersh concluded by thanking the people of Falls City.
“Thank you for putting your confidence and your faith in me and in this Council. They have stepped up and come forward to stand for you.
“Don’t judge their motives when you don’t know their hearts.”