New county commissioners take oath of office
Friends, family and a general sense of euphoria filled the Lehigh County hearing room as Democrats took control of the board of commissioners Jan 6 in a swearing-in ceremony.
The event was officiated by the Honorable Edward D. Reibman, president judge of the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas.
“It’s a wonderful occasion tonight,” Reibman said. “I’d like to call up Bob Elbich.
“Just so you know, Bob came up with a book, and the book is the Constitution of the United States.”
After taking the oath of office Elbich, of Weisenberg Township, addressed the audience.
“I will do every thing in my power to do the best for every citizen of the County of Lehigh,” he stated.
The judge then called up David Harrington.
“I learned tonight, and I’m not surprised, that Dave is an Eagle Scout,” Reibman said, before commencing the brief ceremony to confirm Harrington’s new office.
“I think what we will build will be better than what was given us,” Harrington said, after thanking his family and friends for their support. “I stand for our county — every corner of it.”
Reibman then called Zakiya Smalls to the front.
After a brief recitation of the oath of office with her hand on a Bible, Smalls spoke to the audience.
“I stand here representing those who have not been heard, but will be heard,” Smalls said.
Smalls is the first black woman to be elected Lehigh County commissioner.
Reibman then swore in Dan Hartzell who was accompanied by his family.
“People have called me naïve Dan. I believe it’s better to be naïve Dan than cynical Dan,” he said. “I refuse to be caught up in the easy cynicism that our country has gotten into at all levels.
“When we disagree, we are going to disagree agreeably, and that’s the way it’s going to be with me.”
After electing Commissioner Amy Zanelli president of the board, commissioners deviated from recent practice and elected a Republican member, Marc Grammes, as vice president.
Rabbi Seth Phillips of the Congregation Keneseth Israel of Allentown, who offered the opening invocation, later the closing benediction.