Palmyra Mayor Gina Tait and Borough Councilwomen Bernadette Russell and Farrah Jenkins were officially sworn into office Jan.4 at the Palmyra Borough Council reorganization meeting.
After a long election campaign and even longer wait for the official day, all three Palmyra officials are ready to hit the ground running as they look forward to continuing good work in Palmyra. But for Jenkins, the feeling is a little different, as she becomes the newest face to the council.
“It really feels amazing,” she said. “I’m so excited to be here. I feel like I am part of a bigger part of the town. I’m new here. I’ve been here for a few years and I have been doing everything to get to know the people, but with this experience up until this moment, I have met more people in the last month than during the entire campaign process.
“It’s amazing. I’m so excited.”
According to Jenkins, being officially sworn in was exciting to begin with, but the true impact of her new position means much more
“As a young black woman, it is important for me to get involved and feel involved,” she explained. “I feel as though in [the black female] community, we are sometimes afraid to do that, so by just putting myself out there and representing us as a whole warms me beyond excitement.”
During the final comments section of the agenda, each council member took a second to speak about his or her excitement for the new year. For Borough Council President Timothy Howard, the anticipation stems from the fact that the right person is in the role of mayor.
“We have had a lot of discussions about a lot of things and a lot of different planning,” Howard noted. “And it’s awesome to see that (after) a lot of things we talked about and put in place, the town is succeeding and getting better.
“It warms my heart to see you take the helm as mayor,” he said of Tait. “I’m really appreciative of how much work [Gina] does in the town and how much she does for the community.
Gina works hard and everyone knows how hard she works in the community and I think she’ll be an awesome mayor.”
Tait acknowledged that after being sworn in as the new mayor, it took a while for the nerves to disappear.
“I’m glad to get started,” she said. “I think we have some fantastic people on council and we need to let them do what they need to do.
“Bring in the ideas. I’m excited.”
Tait also praised Russell.
“Bernadette has been a resident of Palmyra for years and she has been involved,” the mayor explained. “I look forward to her bringing in a different perspective. I’m not sure if you realize it or not, but we have three teachers on this council, so I think it’s going to bring in a different perspective for the students.
“She’s very passionate, so I’m looking forward to it.”