With social distancing and masks on outside of City Hall, Beaverton held a swearing-in ceremony Tuesday, Jan. 5, to welcome Lacey Beaty as the city's first female mayor.
"I have the full weight of change on my shoulders," said Beaty following the swearing-in ceremony. "The charter change (and) the community wants change. It was an awesome day, but I know the work ahead is going to be hard. I'm excited to get to work."
In the Nov. 3 general election, Beaty defeated three-term incumbent Denny Doyle by a margin of about 7 percentage points.
The swearing-in ceremony also welcomed interim City Manager Kurt Wilson, followed by 15-minute swearing-in increments for each new or re-elected city councilor. There were brief breaks in between each councilor for proper distancing and cleaning.
"It's a historic day for Beaverton," said Beaty. "We swore in the second Muslim American in Oregon's history with Councilor (Nadia) Hasan."
Hasan defeated Patrick Wolcott and Douglas Jones for the Beaverton City Council Position 6 race, which was created by Beaverton's new city charter.
Under the new charter that is now in effect, the mayor will continue to preside over council meetings and represent the city as its public face. The mayor will also be entitled to vote on council business just like the six city councilors, not only to break ties.
City Councilor Allison Tivnon was also sworn in, replacing Cate Arnold. She was elected over Kate Kristiansen in May with an outright majority of the vote.
As for the event, Beaty says it was special to have her family there in attendance. She remembers her husband missing her first swearing-in ceremony as city councilor due to him serving time overseas in the military.
"My daughter (also) wasn't there with us the first time, and so having her there, and having my husband there, and my mom, just meant everything," said Beaty, who served herself, spending time in Iraq as a U.S. Army combat medic. "We're also a military family, and we always talk about how it's not just a service member that serves — it's the family. It's (also) the same with elected officials."
Beaty will also attend her first City Council meeting on Tuesday evening as mayor. The new mayor says she's excited to get started but hopes for a little bit of grace as everyone adjusts to the new charter.
"I wish we could be in person … and it's challenging, but it's so 2021 to be doing it on Zoom, and I'm excited," said Beaty.
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