Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and three at-large city council members were sworn into their roles Tuesday at a ceremony on the steps of the Pioneers Museum in downtown Colorado Springs.
Judge HayDen Kane administered the oath of office to Mayor Suthers, returning councilmembers Tom Strand and Bill Murray, and first-term councilmember Wayne Williams. Williams replaces Merv Bennett, and joins the council after serving a term as Colorado Secretary of State.
In prepared remarks, Suthers noted that it was his eighth swearing-in ceremony, and the culmination of a long career in public office.
"I can't adequately express to you what an honor and privilege it is at this point in my career to be helping to lead my hometown, the city I literally grew up with, into its future as one of the great cities in America," he said.
He reflected on the achievements of his first term in office, including improvements to the city's roads and stormwater infrastructure, strong economic growth, and progress on major development projects like the U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame.
"Such success just didn’t happen," he said, "but stemmed from a collaborative political environment that has encouraged unprecedented public and private investment in our city."
Looking ahead, he said he hopes to build on the momentum of the last four years. He emphasized the need to invest further in the city’s roads, and pointed to the issues of affordable housing, homelessness, and traffic safety as critical challenges that local officials will need to address in the coming term.
"I ask all our citizens to join me in embracing our enduring challenge as citizens of Colorado Springs to continue to build a city that matches our scenery, a shining city at the foot of a great mountain," he said, using a familiar refrain that he has repeated often since taking office in 2015.
In brief remarks, Councilmembers Tom Strand and Wayne Williams also thanked voters for their support.
"My only goal is to wake up everyday and do the best we can for all of our citizens in this community, and make this the best place in the world," said Strand.
Williams echoed that sentiment. He congratulated outgoing councilmember Merv Bennett -- who was term-limited after eight years on the council -- and expressed his excitement to focus on city issues after his tenure in state office.
"I am grateful for this opportunity to serve my home and my community," he said.
Later in the day at city council chambers, the newly sworn-in council voted for the body's leaders. Richard Skorman was elected in a 6-3 vote to serve a second term as city council president, edging out Don Knight, who was also nominated. Tom Strand was selected to replace Jill Gaebler as president pro-tem.