By Mike Steely
The recent swearing in of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, four councilmen and the city judge drew a standing-room only crowd to the City-County Building on the morning of December 19.
Rogero, who captured the second term with only minor opposition, was joined when taking the oath by her husband, Gene Monaco, and three of her grandchildren. United States District Judge Pamela Reeves presided with the oath.
Rogero was introduced by Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis who said Rogero is known as an advocate for people and for her unwavering support for the disadvantaged. He said she became, four years ago, the first female mayor of a major Tennessee city and he complimented her for her work with the city council, businesses and neighborhoods.
“I continue to love my job as mayor,” she told the large audience. She also reminded the audience that next year Knoxville will celebrate 225 years as a city and said the community is “still a shared enterprise, not just a place on a map.”
“We have a common goal,” Rogero said in her inaugural address, “to provide greater opportunity to be successful, happy and healthy.”
“We have great momentum already. During my second term I promise to build on it in smart and sustainable ways. We have to make sure that as we grow we respect and strengthen the things that make Knoxville so special,” she said.
City Judge John R. Rosson, Jr. was sworn in by U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan. Rosson was re-elected without opposition.
Each of the re-elected council members took the oath along with their families; Marshall Stair, an At-Large incumbent, was joined by his fiancée, Natalie Robinson. The couple were married later that day in a ceremony at the Knoxville Museum of Art.
The re-elected councilmen taking the oath included George Wallace, Finbarr Sanders and Mark Campen.
The inauguration ceremonies were hosted by WBIR’s John Becker. Pastor Daryl Arnold of Overcoming Believers Church gave the invocation and Rabbi Alon Ferency of the Heska Amuna Synagogue, gave the benediction.
The pledge of allegiance was led by Girl Scout Troop 20623 of Lonsdale Elementary. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Knoxville performed two songs and were joined by soloist Ashley Fuqua. Her singing of “I Know Where I’ve Been” with the chorus brought the audience to its feet.