New Havre de Grace Councilman Jim Ringsaker, along with incumbents Councilwoman Casi Tomarchio and Councilman David Glenn, were sworn in for their new two-year terms Monday.
The three were elected on May 8 from among the field of seven candidates vying for half the seats on the six-member City Council. Votes also approved a ballot question to raise the salaries of the mayor and council members starting July 1.
Ringsaker succeeded Michael Hitchings, who decided not to seek re-election after serving three years on the council.
Tomarchio was elected to her first full term following her appointment last fall to the seat held by Steve Gamatoria, who resigned to become Mayor William T. Martin’s chief of staff.
Glenn, the council’s longest-serving member, was re-elected to his fourth term on May 8.
On Monday, his five colleagues also chose Glenn to serve a second consecutive year as council president.
City leaders bid farewell to Hitchings, who joined the council in 2015 when he was appointed to fill Martin’s seat after he was elected mayor; Hitchings was elected to a full term in 2016.
His colleagues praised him for his work ethic, attention to detail and commitment to his community and family.
Hitchings announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election so he could spend more time with his three children.
He plans to remain involved in the community, and he said Monday he will submit an application to serve on the city’s planning commission. He served on the planning commission and board of appeals before becoming a councilman.
“I look forward to continuing to serve the city with the future council’s support,” Hitchings said.
He also wished Ringsaker luck in his first term. They have been friends since they were teenagers in Boy Scouts.
“I wish you well, brother,” Hitchings said.
Hitchings made the motion to adjourn the council’s 2017-18 session, “sine die,” which was approved 5-1. Councilman David Martin voted in the negative because “I want to keep [Hitchings] up here for a while.”
Hitchings received a gift from the council members, a piece of wooden artwork created by Havre de Grace artist Shawn Forton. The work bears the Maryland flag and the Havre de Grace city seal, and the mayor noted the gold paint used on the seal includes actual gold.
Glenn, Ringsaker and Tomarchio were then sworn in, each separately with their families at their sides. Mayor Martin presided over each ceremony.
The mayor then opened the first council meeting of the 2018-19 session, with all council members seated. Glenn made a motion to go into closed session to select the next council president.
Glenn’s colleagues voted, upon their return from closed session, 5-0 in favor of him serving another year as council president. Glenn abstained from voting.
Councilman Martin, who is not related to the mayor, made the motion to nominate Glenn.
“I believe Council member Glenn was leading us in the right direction,” Martin said. “I believe he will continue to supply the support and guidance we need in the future.”
The mayor concurred with the council’s choice.
“You’ve done an amazing job, and I look forward to working with you for the next year,” Martin told Glenn.
Glenn thanked his colleagues “for their vote of confidence in me.”
“When you sit on this dais, and you’re fortunate enough to work with the talented people that I’m fortunate to work with every day, it makes this job easy,” he said.
Tomarchio said, “We had a great slate of candidates who ran” in this year’s election. She thanked all who ran for office and voted, as it shows their love for the city.
“It shows how much you love this city and how much you want things to move forward, for great things to happen in Havre de Grace,” she said.
Ringsaker also acknowledged his fellow candidates, and he thanked the voters for their support.
“I’m extremely humbled by the faith that the citizens have in me, and I really will do my best to represent them up here on the council to the best of my ability,” he said.