The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, May. 20, 2022

Mayor, other officials sworn in at library

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Like former U.S. President Grover Cleveland, Don Farmer’s two terms as mayor haven’t been consecutive. Also like Cleveland, Farmer said two terms are his limit.

Van Wert Mayor Don Farmer speaks after taking the oath of office on Thursday at Brumback Library. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

The mayor-elect was one of 10 Van Wert city officials to take the oath of office Thursday during a ceremony held in the main reading room of Brumback Library. Others sworn in by Van Wert Municipal Court Judge Jill Leatherman were Auditor Martha Balyeat, Law Director John Hatcher, Council President Gary Corcoran and six City Council members: John Marshall (First Ward), Joi Mergy (Second Ward), Stuart Jewett (Third Ward), Pete Weir (Fourth Ward), and Stan Agler and Jeff Agler (at-large). The third at-large councilman, Brent Crone, was out of town and couldn’t participate.

Farmer, whose wife, Nancy, stood beside him during his swearing-in, spoke briefly afterwards, noting that job creation would be a priority for his second four-year term.

The incoming mayor spoke about the choice of site for the ceremony, noting that Brumback Library “represents to this community something that is steadfast” and has seen a number of changes since it opened its doors in 1901.

“It has kept up with technology, but it has still held on to its historical past,” Farmer said, adding that city government can also emulate that. “We do not have to give up the historic past to keep up with the present.”

“These four years are important that we get accomplished the goals that I think Van Wert is looking for,” Farmer said, noting that jobs and economic development are at the top of city residents’ wish list.

City Law Director John Hatcher takes the oath of office. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

He did state, though, that city officials must have the support of the community to get anything accomplished, and asked that Van Wert residents be good neighbors to others in the city.

He also sent a message to the community that he plans to support efforts to decrease drug trafficking and drug use within the city.

“I would hope that at the end of four years that this community is well known for its intolerance to any illicit or illegal drugs,” the mayor-elect said. “I plan to support our police department, sheriff’s department in all of those endeavors.”

Farmer said he felt drug use was one of the prime reasons many young people in the community aren’t succeeding. “It’s one thing when we say we lose our youths to other communities for work, but it’s another thing when we lose our youths to illicit drugs before they even have a chance to gain that work or career they’re hoping for.”

After city officials were sworn in, Mary Ann Falk sang “God Bless America” to close out the ceremony (click here for other photos from the ceremony).

POSTED: 12/30/11 at 2:05 am. FILED UNDER: News