Changing of the guard on Oldsmar City Council

Jerry Beverland returned to office following a one-year hiatus last night after winning a hard fought election over Becky Afonso for Linda Norris’ Seat 4 last week.

Jerry Beverland and Linda Norris exchanged places on the Oldsmar City Council Seat 4 last night.

Jerry Beverland and Linda Norris exchanged places on the Oldsmar City Council last night. Beverland won the election for Seat 4 over Becky Afonso last week.

Following a reception and swearing-in ceremony in the Oldsmar City Council Chambers late Tuesday afternoon, longtime Oldsmar lawmaker Jerry Beverland resumed his familiar position on the dais for the council meeting that night.

And despite being out of office for a little more than a year, he said he felt right at home.

Well, almost.

“The only strange part of it was I was on the opposite end of the dais,” Beverland told Oldsmar Connect afterwards.

“Other than that, it felt as normal as putting on my coat.”

That Beverland would quickly re-acclimate himself to the position should come as no surprise—the 80-year-old has served the City of Oldsmar for nearly 40 years, including 10 years as mayor and 15 years as a council member, before retiring in February 2015.

Jerry Beverland is sworn back into office - again - on Tuesday night.

Jerry Beverland is sworn back into office – again – on Tuesday night.

But after a year in which he authored his fourth book on Oldsmar’s history, Beverland got the itch to return to office, and he decided to run for his good friend Norris’ seat as she was terming out; last week, Beverland won the election over Becky Afonso by a margin of 57-43 percent.

The fact that he is now back in a familiar, if slightly off-center, spot, was not lost on Beverland, who thanked everyone, including all the people who came out to vote, during his swearing-in speech.

“This will be my 25th year on council, it’ll be my 37th year serving the citizens of this city, and again, thank you for everybody that voted,” he told the crowd that packed the council chambers.

“Whether you voted for me or not, thank you for voting. And believe me, I am very humbled to stand here before you. Thank you for everything you’ve done for this city.”

Oldsmar City Manager Bruce Haddock and Linda Norris.

Oldsmar City Manager Bruce Haddock and out-going council member Linda Norris.

Prior to Beverland’s speech, Norris continued the city’s election season theme of positivity in her farewell speech.

And, much to everyone’s surprise, the notoriously emotional council member did not shed a tear.

“I’m actually not going to cry, because I’m happy with the directions I’m going in and different ways I’m going to serve the city,” Norris said as she received an award for her six years of council service. “And I love that…two of my best friends ran for my seat, Jerry and Becky, so (it) couldn’t have gone wrong.”

“It has been an honor, it’s been a privilege, it’s been fun,”she aded. “I’ll miss being up there, but I’ll still be around.”

After her speech, Norris received a street sign that read “Linda Lane” from City Manager Bruce Haddock.

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis is sworn in for his second term by City Clerk Ann Nixon on Tuesday.

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis is sworn in by City Clerk Ann Nixon on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.

Also during the ceremony, Mayor Doug Bevis and Council Member Dan Saracki were sworn-in; both were automatically reelected after running unopposed.

“It’s quite an honor to be one of the few mayors that have been part of forming a great city,” Bevis, who is starting his second term, said. “Many that have come before me, and many that will be after me, will help form and shape the city that we love so much.”

“Thank you so much for coming, and I look forward to a great three years of being your mayor.”

Saracki, who is officially starting his first term despite having already served on Seat 2 for a year, said he was most honored to be able to serve with such a tight-knit group.

Dan Saracki is sworn back on to Seat 2 on Tuesday.

Dan Saracki is sworn back on to Seat 2 on Tuesday.

“This is truly a privilege for me to be a City Council member for the City of Oldsmar,” he said. “It’s a lifetime goal to achieve, and I’m so honored to be here in front of all of you this evening.”

“One thing I really, really enjoy about being on City Council is the mayor and the other council members’ teamwork,” he added. “We have a really, really good working rapport with the city employees, and we love working together to solve issues…and that is one of my favorite things about being on City Council.”

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