Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Wheeler, Cornell sworn in as county commissioners
By Sarah Nelson / Staff writer
Wheeler said she intends to help set a more gentle tone amid the caustic rhetoric throughout the state and nation.
Marihelen Wheeler made a promise for political civility after her swearing-in to the Alachua County Commission Tuesday morning.
Just after taking over the District 2 seat, Wheeler said she didn’t have much new to say, but that she’s coming into the new position from a background full of “peacemakers,” hoping to calm the tense rhetoric vibrating throughout the country.
“I am hoping that with the background that I bring, that we can calm the rhetoric down and in our community, make sure that we are talking to each other, not at each other,” Wheeler said.
Adults, Wheeler said, must model respectful behavior for younger people.
Wheeler was elected to take over for Lee Pinkoson on Nov. 6, taking 65 percent of the vote. Pinkoson decided against running for another term after serving since 2002.
Chuck Chestnut, voted chair of the commission at Tuesday’s meeting, also reiterated the need for an end to the negativity in the political realm. He said, however, that board meetings here have never had the negativity seen at the federal or state level.
“We all have to get along in the community,” Chestnut said. “Civility is going to play a key role in this.”
As for her first priority on the board, Wheeler said she intends to listen and learn from communities and colleagues.
“My first priority is to find out who our key players are,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler’s husband, Paul, and one of her sons, Jeremiah, attended the ceremony at her side.
Commissioner Ken Cornell also was sworn in at the meeting. He was easily re-elected to the District 4 seat after two opponents dropped out early in the race.