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City Council welcomes three new members

Bill DeYoung

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Richie Floyd is sworn in Thursday morning on the steps of City Hall. At 30, he is the youngest person to be elected to Council. Photos: Bill DeYoung.

The three newest members of St. Petersburg City Council were sworn in Thursday morning on the steps of City Hall.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to have such fine people stepping up and putting themselves in a place to serve the residents of our great city,” Council Chair Ed Montanari said after Copley Gerdes (District 1), Lisset Hanewicz (District 4) and Richie Floyd (District 8) took the oath of office.

Re-elected councilmembers Brandi Gabbard (District 2) and Gina Driscoll (District 6) were also sworn in by Sixth Judicial Circuit Court judge Pamela Campbell.

Copley Gerdes (District 1) and family.

“Things in this city of St. Petersburg don’t just happen,” Montanari said. “It takes people to put themselves in public office – to take the risk, to make yourself vulnerable, to walk door to door … and to carry on the work that our city founders did years and years ago.”

In turn, all five councilmembers were joined on the small stage by family members.

“I’m excited to get to work for the city,” said Floyd after the ceremony. “We worked really hard, and we wanted people to know that in the campaign. We put our issues front and center and didn’t shy away from things. And I think it’s just going to be a logical continuation from there.”

At 30, Floyd is the youngest person ever elected to City Council.

Echoing Floyd’s sentiments, Hanewicz said she was thrilled to start down a new path of public service. “This feels great,” she said. “After a long campaign, and after a tough year, it feels wonderful today.

“And you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day to have family here.”

Lisset Hanewicz and family.

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