City officials administered oaths of officeDecember 31, 2019
By CANDY NEAL
The swearing in of Jasper officials on Monday included welcoming new faces and saying goodbye to one long-time official.
Clerk-Treasurer Juanita Boehm was honored with two standing ovations from the crowd present at a swearing-in ceremony. She also received a Key to the City from newly sworn-in Mayor Dean Vonderheide.
“I was fortunate to surround myself with a lot of good people. I’ve had a tremendous staff,” Boehm said. “I will miss this.
“But some of the council members told me that I can come back and sit in the back and be a demonstrator,” she added with a laugh.
Boehm choked up a couple of times and managed to hold back tears as she was saluted for her 24 years of service as the city’s clerk-treasurer. She chose not to run for a seventh term. So administering the oath to the officials on Monday was the last official act Boehm would perform as clerk-treasurer.
“This is the fun part of the clerk-treasurer’s job — the clerk part,” she said. “Not only do you give it to officials, every year you give it to numerous board members. You see the thrill, and the people excited to be on the board or to serve as a council member. So when they take that oath, they take it very seriously. You just feel their vibe when they do this.”
Boehm administered the oath to Allen Seifert, her successor, who kept his hand on a Bible his wife, Deanne, held. He will officially take over the duties of the office at noon Wednesday.
Vonderheide was sworn in for his first full term as Jasper’s mayor. He was a former city councilman, but was selected by caucus in December 2018 to finish the final year of former Mayor Terry Seitz’s term. Vonderheide was unopposed in this year’s election for the seat. As he took his oath, his granddaughters, Hazel and Chloe, with the help of their mom, Meghan Premuda, held the Bible for their grandfather.
Phil Mundy was also sworn in for his first full term as an at-large councilman. Mundy was selected by caucus to complete the unexpired year of Vonderheide’s council term, and won his own four-year term in November. His wife, Karen, stood with him and held the Bible for Mundy as he was sworn into office.
Jasper’s other new councilmen are Chad Lueken and Paul Lorey. Lueken represents District 3. His wife, Yvonne, and three youngest daughters, Olivia, Beatrice and Landry, held his Bible as he took the oath. Lorey, who represents District 5, was sworn in with his wife, Tracy, holding the Bible for him.
Incumbents Nancy Eckerle, John Schroeder, Dave Hurst and Kevin Manley were also sworn in for new four-year terms.
Eckerle’s husband, Gil, held the Bible for her as she was sworn in for her second term as an at-large councilwoman. From 1996 to 1999, she was councilwoman for District 5.
Hurst, councilman for District 4, was sworn in for his second term. He was accompanied by his wife, Suzanne, who held the Bible for his oath.
Schroeder, who represents District 2, took his oath of office with his mother, Bernetta, holding the Bible for him. Schroeder served on the council from 2000 to 2011, and was appointed by caucus in March 2017 to complete Greg Schnarr’s term.
Manley was sworn for his fourth term as District 6’s councilman. His wife, Diane, held the Bible for him.
Huntingburg officials will take their oath of office on New Year’s Day, at 1:30 p.m. at Old Town Hall, 309 N. Geiger St.
The ceremony will be historic, as Jose Dubon will become the first Latino person to hold an elected office in Dubois County. He will be sworn in as a councilman of District 4.
Incumbent councilmen Steve McPherron, Jeff Bounds, Glen Kissling and Tim Wehr will be sworn in as well.
McPherron will be serving his third term as District 3’s councilman. Bounds is going into his second full term as councilman for District 2; he was appointed to the seat by caucus in September 2015, and won his own four-year terms in November 2015 and this past November.
Kissling will be sworn into his third term as councilman for District 1. Wehr will be sworn in for his second term as Huntingburg’s at-large councilman.
Mayor Denny Spinner will also be sworn in for his third term. And Clerk-Treasurer Tom Dippel will be sworn in for his sixth term. City Attorney Phil Schneider will give Dippel his oath of office, and then Dippel will administer the oath for the other officials.
Ferdinand officials — incumbent Clerk-Treaurer Tammy Miller and incumbent council members Debbie Johnson, Ken Sicard and Ron Weyer — took the oath of office Dec. 17, just prior to their monthly town council meeting.
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