Oro Valley mayor and town council members were sworn in last week, officially inaugurating a new era in local government.

Satish Hiremath took the oath of office on June 2, making him the town's second popularly elected mayor.

"Order in the court," Hiremath joked as he slammed the gavel for the first time in his tenure. "I always wanted to do that. It's out of my system now."

The new mayor then took a few minutes to thank his predecessor, Mayor Paul Loomis, and town employees, who he said work tirelessly without much credit.

Hiremath then told people what they might expect of the new council and himself.

"What you see before you is six individuals who are dedicated to raising the bar even higher," Hiremath said.

Along with Hiremath, three council members also were sworn in: Joe Hornat, Mary Snider and Lou Waters.

"I feel more comfortable on television in front of millions of people than I do tonight," Waters said. Before retiring and moving to Oro Valley, Waters was a newscaster with CNN.

Snider also spoke briefly, saying she anticipated good working relationships among the council and town staffers.

"I look forward to working with everyone here on the council," Snider said.

Before the swearing-in ceremony, Councilman Barry Gillaspie paid tribute to the two outgoing council members, Loomis and K.C. Carter.

Speaking about Carter, Gillaspie said the former councilman rarely missed a town meeting of any sort, from council to the numerous boards and commissions.

"K.C., thank you so much for your service," Gillaspie said.

Gillaspie also recognized Loomis, who served in the job for 12 years. Loomis was the first popularly elected mayor the town had.

"Paul, thank you for a job well done," Gillaspie said.

The councilman read a proclamation that noted during Loomis' tenure, the town expanded from 25 to 36 square miles and issued more than 1,500 new residential permits.

At the conclusion of the proclamation, the capacity crowd in council chambers gave the former mayor a standing ovation. Loomis then spoke briefly on his time in local government.

"I want to say it's a joy and a pleasure to have been mayor for these 12 years," Loomis said.

He told the audience that the hard work of town employees had made his job as mayor easy.

Loomis stayed through the swearing-in of the new council, then made a quiet exit out the front doors of council chambers.

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