Today: Jul 03 , 2020

New Prescott Mayor and Council Members Are Sworn In

29 November 2017  

When new Council members are sworn in, that usually means some have to leave.

Suchwas the case Tuesday afternoon, as fond goodbyes were said to some, and happy greetings for others.

If you missed it, you can watch here.

First up was Greg Lazzell, who was elected 4 years ago, and served one term. Steve Blair gave Lazzell a big hug, before presenting him with the plaquefrom the City of Prescott, but then got emotional and was unable to say any more. Lazzell took his name tag and sat down in the audience.

Lazzell offered thanks for the opportunity to serve the last four years and said he had fun, but also thanked his family for their support. He offered kudos tothe City staff. He noted that the hiring of Michael Lamar was one of the best things he was able to help accomplish.

Lazzell was ready to turn over his seat - when asked what he was going to do on Tuesday afternoons, he replied with his famous grin that he’d get to workand earn some money.

Steve Sischka presented the plaque to Jean Wilcox, who ran in this election for Mayor and lost to Greg Mengarelli. Sischka thanked his “cell mate” (heshared an office with her in City Hall) and spoke of his great respect for her. Wilcox noted that this was her last opportunity to speak as an elected official,and, “I’m taking it,” she said, using the time to praise the staff and the public safety personnel. She also gave a special thanks to her husband, and said theywere looking forward to spending some time together and traveling.

Mayor Harry Oberg received a plaque from Jim Lamerson, who was the acting Mayor Pro Tem. Noting that he enjoyed working with Oberg, Lamerson wishedhim good luck and God speed for the future. Oberg spoke and said, “It’s been a real pleasure to be the Mayor, I’ve had tremendous support and I’ve had a lotof fun. I don’t regret leaving, we’ve had some real contentious things to deal with, but I think we made good progress on a lot of things.” Oberg said he hopesto continue working with the City.

He thanked Lamerson as his Mayor Pro Tem, and also previous Mayor Marlin Kuykendall and the council members he worked with.

Next was the swearing in of the new Mayor and Council. Sheriff Scott Mascher administered the oath to all four newly elected members, starting with MayorGreg Mengarelli.

Mengarelli offered thanks to God. He also thanked his family, especially his wife, Sheila and his campaign team. “I’m truly honored and humbled to take thisrole of leadership in our City. I take it very seriously, I will be fully dedicated to the task at hand. We have some great opportunities that exist in our City. Wehave a very bright future, and I look forward to coming into the office in the morning and getting at it and of seizing those opportunities that exist for our greatCity to further enhance the way of life and the quality of life that we have here in Prescott.”

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Later, Mengarelli also wrote,"Well it is official, I am proud to be the Mayor of Prescott. Grateful for my family, used my dad’sBible, my grandparents gavel and a copy of my great grandpa’s manifest from Ellis Island for the swearing in ceremony. Thankyou all for your support.”

Actually, the other new members forgot to bring a Bible, so the Mengarelli Bible was used several times.

Steve Blair, still overcome with emotion,was sworn in next, and took his seat next to Jon Paladini, using Lazzell’s former seat. He spoke simply, “Thank you, everybody.”

Phil Goode also thanked the voters of Prescott, his wife and supporters. He exhorted people to vote, saying it was very important. “At the very least, we can vote.”

“Lastly, I hope that God gives me some wisdom and guidance, and I thank you all,” Goode concluded.

Finally, Alexa Scholl was sworn in. At 20, she is one ofthe youngest people to be elected to council in recent history, and she also received the highest number of votes, with the exception of Mayor Mengarelli. With her parents on each side, she solemnly repeated the words that Sheriff Mascher recited to her. “First and foremost, I am very honored and humbled to be standing before you as a new council member of theCity of Prescott. I want to thank the voters of theCity of Prescott for placing their vote in me to represent them on this council.”

After that, the newly seated council had just one item on the agenda to consider - who would fill the role of Mayor Pro Tem.

Councilman Lamerson, who had served as Mayor Pro Tem for the last four years, explained, “As you know, Mayor, I’ve been on this Council now for 14 years. In that 14 years, I’ve served with 8 different Councils, served with four different Mayors, and I’ve been the Mayor Pro Tem on this Council 8 times. In that time, what I’ve learned, is that things change. So, what I would like to do at this particular point, acknowledging my fellow Councilwoman, so to speak, has done a lot for this community. She was instrumental in your election, number one, she was instrumental in getting Proposition 443 passed, number two. As we witnessed againtogether today, her leadership skills are unapproachable. I would like to nominate Billie Orr to be your Mayor Pro Tem."

Councilwoman Orr looked so excited and honored. Steve Sischka seconded the motion, although he could hardly be heard over the loud applause in the room. When the vote was called for, Orr looked over at City Attorney Jon Paladini and asked with a big smile and a little laugh, “Do I vote?” He nodded and replied yes. It was unanimous, 7-0.

Later on Facebook, Orr wrote, "Thank you Mayor Pro Tem Jim Lamerson for nominating me to Mayor Pro Tem. Thank you MayorGreg Mengarelliand council membersSteve Sischka,Steve Blair,Alexa Scholl, & Phil Goode for your trust & confidence. Great future ahead for Prescott. I look forward to working with each of you!

TheCity of Prescott Council will now forge ahead with new faces, new goals and new opportunities. The last Council worked hard to find a solution for the massive PSPRS liability, pay raises for staff and Public Safety personnel and hired a new City Manager in Michael Lamar. And they didn’t stop working - up to the very end. Before all the ceremonies of the new council took place, some of the final acts of the now-previous council were to approve the Deep Well Ranch Master Plan and Development Agreement and spend $2.1 million on a portion ofthe Storm Ranch for Open Space.

But now, the Council will move forward with new faces, new perspectives, new leadership and fresh issues . As Councilman Lamerson remarked, “Things change.”