Jackson, others sworn into office

Johnstown Councilman-at-Large Craig Talarico, standing, reads a resoution appointing Carrie Allen, in the background, as new Johnstown city clerk at the Johnstown Common Council's organizational meeting Monday at City Hall. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Mayor Vern Jackson was sworn in for a fresh, four-year term at the Common Council’s organizational meeting Monday at City Hall.

After wishing “Happy New Year” to the public group assembled in the Council Chambers, Jackson was sworn in by City Court Judge Brett Preston. Jackson, a Republican who was unopposed last fall, was surrounded by family members, including his wife, Peggy.

Jackson said he will give a more formal “State of the City” address at the council’s next business meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 16 at City Hall.

Also sworn in by Preston were: Councilman-at-Large Craig Talarico; 2nd Ward Councilwoman Kathi Iannotti; 4th Ward Councilman Timothy Cellary; and City Treasurer Michael Gifford. All received four-year terms.

“Thank you all for coming today and thank you for your support putting these people on the council,” Jackson said. “I’m looking forward to this term.”

Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson - surrounded by family members - is sworn in for a new term as mayor by City Court Judge Brett Preston, left, during the Johnstown Common Council's organizational meeting Monday at City Hall. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Following the meeting, Jackson said he feels more comfortable serving this time after the one year he served following the 2016 death of his friend, former Mayor Michael Julius.

“I know how it works,” Jackson said of city government.

He expressed a desire for the city to “keep progressing” in 2018, He said having served the year helped him with the continuity of being the city’s top executive. He also said that although his first year of service was an “adventure,” he thinks he’ll be able to handle the part-time job better.

“Now, I know the job,” Jackson said.

In regular action, the council made the following appointments: Carrie Allen, as both city clerk and records management officer; Mary Jo Smith, continued as part-time deputy city clerk at annual salary of $15,704; Michael Poulin, as city attorney at an annual salary of $36,720; Christopher Vose, continued as city engineer at an annual salary of $67,958; Joel Wilson, continued as deputy city engineer at an annual salary of $67,958; and police Lt. David Gilbo, as provisional chief of police.

Allen replaces City Clerk Cathy VanAlstyne, who retired. Allen’s term started Monday and her annual starting salary is $43,891.

Gilbo replaces former police Chief Mark Gifford, who retired. Gilbo’s appointment commences Saturday at an annual starting salary of $82,374.

Claps went along with each formal resolution during appointments. Family members of many of the city government staff were on hand.

Jackson offered “welcome back” messages to the various returning personnel who were given fresh appointments. The mayor also introduced Deidre Roemer, who will be replacing retiring Johnstown Senior Citizens Director Michelle Jones.

City staff and families gathered at Patricia’s Restaurant to celebrate New Year’s Day following the meeting.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.