Through chuckles and tears, outgoing Bellevue Mayor Chris Koch swore in Mayor-elect Ned Burns on Wednesday night.
In front of an audience at City Hall filled with city residents and visiting family members of Burns, Koch told the new mayor that the city is in the best shape it’s ever been.
“It’s ready for the next chapter, and you’re going to lead it,” Koch said to Burns at the City Council meeting.
In Koch’s “state of the city” address given prior to the swearing-in ceremony, Koch told the audience that the city is “ready and ripe to go,” emphasizing the hard work of the city councils and staff over the years that have dedicated their time and energy to improving the city.
Koch decided to step aside after serving as mayor since 2010.
Burns won in the November city elections with 618 votes, beating his opponent, Hailey Police Department Patrol Officer Jared Murphy. Murphy was in the audience, front and center, and Burns thanked him for a fair race and for being in attendance.
“I’m going to work tremendously hard for this city,” Burns said as he settled into the mayor’s seat. Burns then swore in two new City Council members, Doug Brown and Tammy E. Davis, as well as re-elected Councilman Greg Cappel.
With Burns moving out his City Council seat, the panel has one vacant seat that needs to be filled. Burns said during the meeting that he has received several names who are interested in the position but wanted to delay making a decision until a future meeting.
Councilwoman Kathryn Goldman, who was not in attendance, was re-nominated by her fellow council members to serve as the council’s president again.
The next Bellevue City Council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 29, in the cafeteria at Bellevue Elementary School, in order to allow for a larger audience. At the special meeting, public comment will be heard for the proposed Strahorn housing development. The conditional-use permit for the first phase of the subdivision was approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission at a meeting on Nov. 29.