AUGUSTA — Mayor David Rollins, as he was sworn into office Thursday, said in the coming year he will work with other city officials to rally the community to fight an opiate epidemic, work for adoption of an ordinance creating a historic district on the city’s west side and an ordinance requiring property owners to maintain their buildings and land, foster economic development to create jobs and come up with a recycling plan.

City councilors and school board members elected in November, as well as Rollins, took their oaths of office Thursday.

Ward 2 Councilor Darek Grant, the only councilor or school board member to offer comments about his plans for his council term, his third consecutive one, said he will continue to make fighting childhood hunger a priority.

“We can’t solve it alone in Augusta, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try,” Grant said.

Grant said he’s proud of what has been accomplished in the city recently, including the start of construction of a major expansion and renovation of Lithgow Public Library, opening of apartments for senior citizens at the former Cony High School flatiron building, beginning of construction of apartments for senior citizens at the former Hodgkins Middle School building and investments made in the city’s infrastructure, including streets and sidewalks.

He noted that when he was first elected to the council, he had no children and now he has two, both of whom attended Thursday’s ceremonies and, after the meeting was over, spent some time sitting in his seat on the council bench.


“Augusta has a lot to be proud of,” Grant said. “I’m a proud product of this city and have two kiddos I hope will be proud products of this city. That’s my investment.”

Rollins also said Augusta has a lot to be proud of, adding to the list of positive business development the construction of a new hotel, a new car wash and an expansion project at Performance Foodservice’s Northcenter site, as well as improvements to local roads because of city and state construction projects.

He praised the city staff, noting the city was just ranked 50th on the real estate website’s list of the 100 best small towns in America.

He said the city also has reached out to its neighborhoods with the city staff helping to establish neighborhood watches in the Mayfair neighborhood and on the west side and working with west side neighborhood residents on a historic district ordinance.

Swearing council and school board members in were two Augusta residents who have held one or more of those seats themselves: Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, a former mayor, and William Burney, a former mayor, city councilor and school board chairman.

Katz administered the oaths of office to Rollins, Grant and Marci Alexander, who was elected to an at-large council seat.


Katz quipped upon returning to the chambers where he previously served as mayor that he did so “somewhat wistfully as I look back on times when people worked together to resolve policy differences and find new ground. I’m sure you will continue to do that.”

Burney, meanwhile, administered oaths to new school board members Tom Connors, at large, and April Cusick, Ward 3, and to Laura Hamilton who was re-elected to her at-large school board seat.

Rollins, Grant and Alexander were all unchallenged in their elections, as were Hamilton and Connors. Alexander will fill the at-large seat vacated by Dan Emery, who did not seek re-election.

Cusick defeated Ray Dostie to win the Ward 3 Board of Education seat. The seat previously was held by Nicole Desjardins, who did not seek re-election.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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