A Light Mood as New Town Board Is Sworn In

Kathee Burke Gonzalez was sworn in as a member of the East Hampton Town Board on Thursday by Town Justice Lisa Rana. Morgan McGivern

It was standing room only at East Hampton Town Hall as snow fell outside on Thursday morning during a swearing-in ceremony for new town officials.

Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell commanded the attention of the crowd, which filled the meeting room after a half-hour of coffee, Dreesen’s donuts, fruit, and chit-chat in the atrium. Mr. Cantwell's quiet “Good morning,” prompted a round of applause.

East Hampton Village Trustee Barbara Borsack was introduced by Mr. Cantwell as a “lifelong friend” and led a chorus of “God Bless America.”

Former East Hampton Town Justice James T. Ketcham rose to don his black robe – “to make it official,” he said – before swearing in Mr. Cantwell

Steve Tekulsky, who would be sworn in a few minutes later as town justice by his friend Alex Walter, stood in his brand-new judge’s robe, his hand on the shoulder of his elderly mother who was seated in the front row and wearing a wrist corsage.

“You knew what to do right away,” Judge Ketcham teased Carole Brennan after her swearing-in as the new town clerk. As a longtime deputy town clerk, Ms. Brennan had participated in many similar official ceremonies.

She did the honors for her former boss, Fred Overton, who eschewed an incumbent run as town clerk and instead sought and won a seat on the town board. “We’re switching sides,” she told Mr. Overton as the two stood at the front of town hall, Ms. Brennan with a face full of emotion and a huge, barely repressed grin.

Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, also taking a seat on the town board, was sworn in by Town Justice Lisa Rana. Her husband, Joe Gonzalez, flashed her a smile and a big thumbs-up as she stepped to the side of the room following her oath.

Ms. Rana then swore in incumbent Highway Superintendent Steve Lynch and his deputy, Kevin Ahearn.

“Now we’re going to swear in the new Carole,” Ms. Brennan said before doing the honors for Jeanne Hamilton, a three-decade veteran of positions at Town Hall, who is now the deputy town clerk.

During a brief break before the board began its annual organizational meeting, handshakes and congratulations were shared throughout the room.