Rachel Dahl and James Richardson were sworn in Tuesday for their second terms as members of the Fallon City Council.
The two incumbents, who retained their respective Ward I and Ward III seats in the City Council election earlier this month, were sworn in by District Court Judge Tom Stockard during the ceremony on a mild and breezy afternoon in the Fallon City Hall courtyard.
Routine business? Not really, if you were to ask Ken Tedford Jr., who has seen a fair number of swearing-in ceremonies both as mayor and city councilman in Fallon. He is still as enthusiastic as ever about the ceremonies and their truly special nature.
Tedford, who has served as mayor since 1995 and eight years on the city council before that, took time to remind nearly 50 spectators who gathered in the City Hall courtyard just how fortunate they are to be Americans.
“The laws of our country require that government officials take an oath of office before they begin their term,” Tedford said in his opening remarks. “Tradition is added to that legal requirement. It’s all part of the process. But we sometimes forget that what for us is process, law and tradition, is a quite remarkable event. In the eyes of the world, this ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle. We should keep in mind how lucky we are to have a day like today.
“The people’s business is handled efficiently and fairly here in Fallon, without much fuss, and I’m proud of that fact. I have confidence in this City Council, the staff and the system that put us here. Most of all, I have confidence in the people of this city. Everything we do here is a reflection of their strength.”
Dahl edged Susan Smith-Savala by a 99-70 count to prevail in a rematch for the Ward I seat. The two opposed each other for the same seat in 2009.
“I just think it’s an honor to have an opportunity to serve four more years,” Dahl said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
It was even closer in Ward III, where Richardson outpolled Eric Blakey by a 94-79 margin to secure his victory.
Obviously, Richardson was happy to be part of the ceremony.
“I’m just happy and excited to be able to serve another term as councilman,” he said. “Eric Blakey ran a good campaign, so I’m just happy to be here.
“It’s definitely a privilege and honor to do this. I never will forget that, and I don’t forget that when I’m serving.”
Tedford, whose grandfather, J.N. Tedford, and uncle, Jack Tedford, were mayors of Fallon, offered words of praise for both of the council members. Richardson and Dahl are homegrown products themselves, having both graduated from Churchill County High School in 1987.
“They started four years ago and they’ve done a good job,” he said. “They have passion and dedication to serve, and that’s the type of person you need to do this job.”
That’s why Tedford believes the concept of a public swearing-in ceremony is so important.
“To me, it is important … to reinforce it to the public this is serious business,” he said. “This is the people’s business and you get sworn in to serve them.”