COLUMBIA — Freshly-elected First Ward Councilwoman Ginny Chadwick and incumbent Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser swore their oaths of office Monday.
Chadwick thanked her predecessor Fred Schmidt for his help during her race, and she said her constituents were already approaching her with issues.
"Being up there on the other side of the bench and seeing the community I serve felt so good," Chadwick said after the meeting.
Running for council was hard work, she said, and she knew serving will be, too — but said it would be worth it.
After the meeting, Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe said she looked forward to working with Chadwick and she was glad to have another woman on the council.
Hoppe said she has known Chadwick for many years. She noticed how diligently Chadwick worked to familiarize herself with the issues facing the city.
"I think she'll be accessible and responsive to the First Ward," Hoppe said.
Chadwick, whom Hoppe said is about the same age as her youngest daughter, will be the youngest member of the City Council. The 36-year-old has two daughters, and she studies public health and journalism at MU.
Before stepping down from his seat, Schmidt reflected on his time on council. He said when he was first elected, the city budget was "the scariest first budget I've ever been through," and during his tenure the council managed to balance it.
Schmidt said he hopes the city finds a way to communicate better with the public.
He also said he hoped accessory dwelling units will be "allowed where they were wanted and not allowed where they are inappropriate." After he finished speaking, City Manager Mike Matthes presented him with a framed picture of an accessory dwelling unit.
After the meeting, Schmidt said the finality of his term was sinking in and he was looking forward to doing the things "normal people do." He plans to close his business, Accounting Cycle, and take more bike rides, he said. Beyond that, he said, he doesn't have any plans.
Nauser was sworn in to her fourth term on the council after running unopposed. She said over the years she has served, Columbia residents have become more engaged and the flow of information from city staff to the council has become easier.
"People are more active and engaged," she said. "People want to talk to their representative."