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OBSERVER Photos by MJ Stafford Fredonia Administrator Paul Wandel, right, takes the oath of office before Mayor Michael Ferguson Monday at the Fredonia Opera House.

Fredonia's new mayor and three trustees were sworn in at the Opera House Monday morning, in an event filled with references to faith, family and community.

Michael Ferguson was sworn in as mayor.

Paul Wandel, Ben Brauchler and Jon Espersen were sworn in to begin their terms as trustees.

The Rev. Jim LaBarr of Harvest Chapel United Methodist Church gave the opening address and led a prayer. “To begin the new year, it is a blessing to come together with optimism, with gratitude and with hope for what lies ahead,” he said.

He prayed to God for the community and for Fredonia's government officials to do a good, honest job, with “no selfish desire for power.”

Village Judge Nancy Dietzen administered the oath of office to Ferguson.

“I first want to thank my Lord and savior for this opportunity” he said.

Ferguson also thanked his wife, Diane; his sons and daughters and their families, including his grandchildren; Greg Krauza, who contributed to his campaign and hosted the ceremonies; and outgoing Mayor Dougkas Essek and Trustees James Lynden and David Bird.

Ferguson asked. “open communication and open arms” in the village hall. “We are not here as kings and queens, we are here as servants of our community. » he said. Expressing his respect for the employees of the police, fire brigade, Ministry of Public Works and the village hall, he called them “all equally important to the success and progress of this community. »

Ferguson promised to “continue to fan the flames of community pride and trust in government.”

He said he would seek help from state officials at the upcoming New York Conference of Mayors on three major issues for Fredonia: construction of a new Brooks-TLC hospital, the water system and SUNY Fredonia.

“We promise to work hard to make you proud of Fredonia Village Government,” Ferguson concluded.

Fredonia's new mayor then administered the oath of office to Wandel and Brauchler, who won the election in November, and to Espersen, who was re-elected.

Wandel said of his election candidacy: “I thought about it, I prayed about it, and I thought maybe I should try.”

Wandel ran because he thinks everyone should do community service, “and I really care about us (the Fredonia community)…if we work together as a team, we can accomplish great things.” »

Espersen commented: “God put me here for a reason I haven’t yet understood. I hope and pray that the new board functions cohesively. He added, “We need to hear from the people of Fredonia what they want” inviting them to contact the village authorities.

Ferguson gave closing remarks, asking for and receiving applause for those who serve Fredonia. He cited Proverbs: “Where there is no vision, people perish. »

He said, “We will move forward and do it in an intelligent and cooperative way. » Ferguson then once again asked for support from people who help make Fredonia a better place to live.

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