Newly elected Augusta City Councilor Robert Eric Austin, center right, takes the oath of office Thursday at City Hall. Austin represents Ward 1. Screenshot via CTV7 Augusta

AUGUSTA — City councilors taking the oath of office Thursday said they intend to serve with integrity and hard work and hope to make residents proud.

“I had a wonderful experience serving you all for the last three years,” said At-Large Councilor Courtney Gary-Allen, who was reelected in a contested race Nov. 7. “I am deeply grateful to get to serve you again. I hope I’ve made you proud these last three years. And I hope I make you proud for three more years.”

Councilors also unanimously voted to reaffirm their commitment to a set of core values, drafted at the suggestion of Ward 4 Councilor Eric Lind when he first took office in 2018. The core values state councilors will maintain high standards of integrity, be courteous and respectful, promote civility and be accountable.

Lind recalled that he and William Bridgeo, former city manager, wrote the core values statement in 2018 as a way to guide councilors during their time in office. Each City Council since then has pledged to follow that same set of core values, each in unanimous votes.

At-Large Councilor Stephanie Sienkiewicz said it’s valuable for councilors to reaffirm their commitment to the statement as their terms start “to set the tone for the year ahead, and to remind us what we’re aspiring to in our behavior as councilors, whether it’s here on this bench, out in the community, our online presence — all the ways we uphold this behavior.”

Lind, after taking his oath of office from City Clerk Kelly Gooldrup, made some brief promises for his upcoming term. He said both he and his wife, Sandra — whom he credited for providing him lots of sage advice — grew up in the city ward he now represents.


“I’ve got one agenda — Augusta, and the opportunity that Augusta presents,” he said. “I promise the residents and the constituents of Ward 4 and the city (that) I’m going to work hard, I’ll be prepared, I’ll be on time, I’m not going to make any promises I can’t keep. And I will be decisive and I want to bring a sense of urgency to our business.”

Robert Eric Austin, newly elected to the council to take longtime councilor Linda Conti’s Ward 1 seat, thanked voters for electing him and entrusting him to take on the “important role that I’ll be honored to serve in.”

School board members taking their oaths of office were Chairwoman Martha “Muffy” Witham and Ward 2 member Susan Parks, neither of whom spoke after they were sworn in.

Charles Hicks, newly elected as an at-large school board member, did not attend.

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