It’s the end—and beginning—of an era. On Nov. 19 at noon, Key Westers gathered at Josephine Parker City Hall on White Street to see two new city officials sworn in: Utility Board Member Robert Barrios and Mayor-elect Teri Johnston. City Manager Jim Scholl oversaw the proceedings; Judge Peary S. Fowler officiated the ceremony; and former mayor Craig Cates was in the audience as a well-wisher.
Upon taking the podium after her swearing-in, Mayor Johnston offered a message of inclusivity and hope. She called her civic duty “an incredible responsibility,” vowing to represent the citizenry “no matter what color of skin, gender, or partner preference.” She challenged the crowd to take part in local government and to “rise up to help the Key West economy and residents.”
Johnston ended her address with a promise: “I am going to spend every second of the next two years proving you made the right choice.” She thanked the sitting commissioners, and after hugs and handshakes, she took her seat with them. Father John Baker provided a benediction at the close of the ceremony.
The ceremony was followed by refreshments outside the City Hall Building, where Commissioners Jimmy Weekley, Samuel Kaufman, Billy Wardlow, Greg Davila, Mary Lou Hoover, and Clayton Lopez gathered with attendees. The crowd enjoyed food and conversation in the Key West sunshine with elected officials new and old.