The January 9 meeting of Saline City Council began with Mayor Marl pounding his gavel so forcefully that it broke. The Honorable Patrick J. Conlin, Jr., a Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge, was present in full judicial regalia.
“I’m honored to be here,” Conlin said. “I can say, Mayor Marl, that I’ve never broken my gavel so you must be stronger than I am.”
Conlin had come for the swearing in of four of the seven Council members. One new member and two incumbents were elected to Council in November as well as the mayor who ran unopposed.
Marl invited new council members to bring family and friends forward to accompany them in the ceremony if they wished.
The first to be sworn in was Christen Mitchell who brought an “entourage” of eight friends and family members with her.
“It’s never bad to have an entourage.” Conlin said.
Conlin read the oath of office line by line as Mitchell repeated it with a raised right hand.
“I Christen Mitchell do solemnly swear that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the State of Michigan and that I will faithfully perform the duties as a member of the City Council in and for the City of Saline, County of Washtenaw and State of Michigan according to the best of my abilities, so help me God.”
The same procedure was repeated for the two incumbent council members Janet Dillon and Dean Girbach. Of course, the names were changed.
Girbach came forward with his father and brother, while Dillon stood alone, although she had supporters in the audience.
Conlin administered the same oath to Marl except that instead of “member of the City Council” he read “Mayor of Saline.”
A new addition to the first meeting of the year is that all seven of the Council members are now required to sign an ethics pledge. The pledge was written in 2016 and received final approval in November.