The victors in November’s Leesburg Town Council were officially sworn in Thursday night, for terms that will begin Jan. 1.
Mayor Kelly Burk was sworn in for her second two-year mayoral term. Council members Marty Martinez and Suzanne Fox were sworn in for their fifth and second four-year terms, respectively. Council newcomer Neil Steinberg was sworn in for his first term.
In the packed event space at Ida Lee Park Recreation Center, the four took time to thank their family and supporters, many of whom joined the council members for the swearing-in ceremony and reception that followed.
Steinberg noted that his weeks leading up to his Jan. 1 start as council member have been filled with meetings, as he learns the ropes of his new role. He said he is looking forward to working with all members of the Town Council and town staff, “to continue to make this an excellent place to work and live.”
Fox said she was glad that campaign season was over so the council could turn its attention back to the “business of town governance.” She vowed to continue seeking input from the public on all matters before the council, because “no one effectively can do this job on their own.”
Martinez who, assuming he serves his entire four-year term, will hit 20 years on the Town Council, said his reasons for running for a fifth term were the same as why he ran for his first.
“I want to make Leesburg a community that my children will come back to and raise their families,” he said.
Burk referenced one of her predecessors and close personal friend, Kristen Umstattd, now the Leesburg District Supervisor but longtime former town mayor. She said Umstattd made the job look easy, but “this job is not easy. It’s 24/7.”
But despite the time commitment, Burk emphasized, “I really do love being the mayor of Leesburg.”
County Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) delivered brief remarks ahead of the swearing-in ceremony. She commended the four council members for their commitment to public service.
“I believe that the office closest to the people is the highest office you can serve in,” she said.
Circuit Court Judge Jeanette Irby swore in Burk, Martinez and Steinberg. Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens conducted the swearing-in for Fox.
The four newly sworn-in council members join Tom Dunn, Josh Thiel and Ron Campbell, all of whom have two years remaining on their terms.