GENEVA – When Kane County Chief Judge Judith Brawka swore in Mayor Kevin Burns and all newly elected officials Monday, the ceremony seemed to take on the tone of a civics lesson.
“When they say all government and politics is local, they are absolutely correct,” Brawka said. “This is democracy in action. I can’t tell you what an honor it is to be invited here to administer the oath of office to your elected officials here in the city of Geneva.”
Brawka said to the standing-room-only crowd that they were there as interested citizens who voted.
“With that interest you can go out and talk to your fellow citizens who may not have been interested enough and remind them that this is democracy in action,” Brawka said. “This is the most meaningful thing that we can do, is cast our vote, elect our officials and have a say in our government – the envy of the world – and sometimes it’s taken for granted.”
Burns thanked Brawka and said that his success, and the success of the community, “rests not solely on the shoulders of the city council or the mayor, but on the hundreds of shoulders of the men and women” who serve in appointed roles and in volunteer projects to support the city.
Burns also defended public employees from being targeted with “misplaced and dishonorable criticism for simply carrying out the duties and policies adopted by the elected and appointed officials.”
He noted the city’s administration team were all reappointed that night, they, their teams and departments “are consummate professionals,” Burns said, “whose chosen careers are rooted in the very best of public service.”