By Sam Wildow
TROY — A number of Troy’s elected officials took their oaths of office on Wednesday at City Hall, including incoming second ward council member Kristie Marshall.
“We are going to administer the oaths of office for both our incumbents and new officers at the city of Troy,” Law Director Grant Kerber said. “It is a very important and significant event for our new council members who will be embarking on a new journey. It will serve to remind you of your duties that you have to your fellow citizens of Troy. We have a rich history of our elected officials — our council members — doing what’s best for Troy.”
For returning council members, Kerber added, “It’s a reminder of your duties, not only to the state and the Constitution, but most importantly, it’s to your fellow citizens.”
Kerber said the oath of office is not just words.
“It is going to be your solemn duty, but it is also a celebration of everybody’s individual accomplishment to get here today to be able to serve the citizens of Troy,” Kerber said.
City Treasurer Melvin Shane was the first elected official to be sworn in, who was re-elected to a four-year term.
Council President William Lutz was then sworn in for another two-year term.
Returning council members who took their oaths of office included Jeffrey G. Whidden, first ward; Bobby W. Phillips, fourth ward; and Jeffrey A. Schilling, sixth ward, along with at-large council members William G. Rozell, Todd D. Severt, and Lynne B. Snee. Marshall was also sworn in on Wednesday. They each have two-year terms.
During their oaths of office, the elected officials swore to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of Ohio, while also “faithfully, honestly, and impartially” discharging the duties of their respective offices.
After the swearing in ceremony, Mayor Robin Oda said she was looking forward to working with all of the council members, both returning members and new members.
“I’ve worked with several of you for many years,” Oda said.
Marshall, who will be filling the seat of outgoing council member John L. Terwilliger, said she was excited to take her new seat on the council. She was also inspired to take on the position after watching her grandmother and friends in the role.
“My grandma used to be on City Council years ago, and so I’ve grown up with it,” Marshall said.
Marshall also hopes to offer transparency to the residents of Troy about what goes on with council, saying, “I think it’s really important that everybody knows and understands why we do the things that we do and help them understand.”
Marshall, a long-time Troy resident, works as a teacher’s aide at Cookson Elementary in Troy City Schools and has been in that occupation for approximately 18 years.
Phillips is also the council’s current longest-sitting member, entering his seventh term in 2022. He has previously spent 12 years on the council.
Phillips said an interest in governmental politics first inspired him to run for a council seat. Phillips moved to Troy in 2007 from California, previously working as a police officer.
“It happened to kind of fall into place,” Phillips said, adding that no one ran against him even the first time. “It just was really a very fortuitous, easy transition.”
Additional council members, including incoming third ward council member Samuel Pierce and returning fifth ward council member William C. Twiss, will take oaths of office at 6:45 p.m. on Jan. 3 prior to the Troy City Council meeting. Pierce will be filling the seat of outgoing council member John W. Schweser.
Other elected officials include the mayor, the auditor, and the director of law. Their four-year terms are staggered every two years. Those terms run through Dec. 31, 2023.