City ushers in new council member, mayor
City clerk Doreen Pesek gives the oath of office to Mayor Chris Morrow on April 15. Submitted photo
Special to The Gardner News
One Mayor bid adieu with British flair, while another Mayor was ushered in for a new era of Gardner City government on Monday, April 15.
Voters elected Chris Morrow as Gardner’s new mayor in the general election held on April 2 by a 52 percent margin.
City administrator Cheryl Harrison-Lee led the presentation to honor outgoing Mayor Dave Drovetta, new mayor Morrow, re-elected council member Kristy Harrison, new council member Steve Shute, and outgoing council member Randy Gregorcyk.
“This is one of those historic moments,” Harrison-Lee said, “And no one who achieves success does so without help.”
Drovetta was presented with a clock from the council that read, “Thank You For Your Time,” a frame with photos and a lifetime family pass to the Gardner Aquatic Center.
“What can a person say after 18 years of elected office?” he said. “It’s been a fun ride, and I learned a strong sense of humor is an important factor in navigating rough roads through my journey.”
He explained to attendees that he and his daughter would have British accent Mondays, and began to thank everyone in such fashion.
“Our community has been blessed with the hardest working, dedicated council regardless of demands,” he said. “I am fortunate to be associated with such wonderful people. I, also, thank the citizens for their confidence in serving this community, and giving me an enriching learning experience. I bid you all a fond, cheerio,” he said.
Council member Gregorcyk summed up his brief experience by thanking Drovetta, and congratulating Kristy Harrison and Steve Shute.
“I appreciate the opportunity, and will rally around our new team and mayor to move this city forward,” he said.
Harrison also thanked Drovetta for appointing her to the council three years ago, and being patient with her.
“I’m excited about the next four years,” she said. “And the visioning we are getting ready to endure will set the city up for success.”
Newly-elected Shute joked that he is the shortest member of the council.
“But it’s good to look up to people,” he said. “I have shoes to fill, and hope to have the support of those in this room.”
Shute declared Gardner the greatest city in Johnson County.
“I’ve always believed we are a hidden gem,” he said. “And it’s time to take us out of hiding, and make us the brightest star in Johnson County.”
New Mayor Morrow began by mentioning the bombing at the Boston Marathon, before proceeding to thank his family.
“They have been long suffering for a short time,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting started this winter, as I’m a relative neophyte.”
He promised to work hard and listen to the people of Gardner.
“I will make sure to keep you informed and interested,” he said. “And I will help Gardner move forward, as I think we’re going to get a lot accomplished in the next four years.”