In a small ceremony in Woodstock’s courtroom, judge Jason Lesko administered the oath of office to councilwoman-elect Maria-Elena Conte, councilman-elect Bennet Ratcliff and judge Richard Husted.
Attendees were mostly limited to friends and family out of concern for spreading Covid. The event was streamed via Facebook for the general public.
Normally, officials are sworn in at the town offices on Comeau Drive, but the courtroom was instead chosen because it is larger and people had the space to socially distance.
Lesko praised Husted for his dedication and 24 years on the bench. “That’s quite an accomplishment, and it also is not just to be re-elected, but to have that kind of stamina,” Lesko said. “He has been an endless source of support for me. I thank you for that.”
He also thanked the incoming town-board members for wanting to be public servants in difficult times. “I think that every year that goes by… the issues that you face become more complex, require, more thought, and the things that you decide are so important, because they affect the everyday lives of our citizens,” he said. “These issues are quality-of-life issues. Obviously, if you’re in town for even a week, you can see that this town has been changing a lot. We have a changing demographic. Five years ago, 10 years ago, we didn’t deal with noise ordinances and Airbnbs and things like that. These are issues that are here to stay and need, need attention and need dedication. So anybody who offers themselves up to perform that kind of function, you have my ultimate respect.”