Mayor Christopherson takes charge in Vermillion

Mayor Christopherson takes charge in Vermillion Circuit Court Judge Arthur Rusch administers the oath of office to Mayor Dan Christopherson at Tuesday's Vermillion City Council meeting. by David Lias You don't have to go the trouble of mouthing "Mayor Christopherson" when addressing the newly elected leader of Vermillion city government.

"Christopherson is kind of a long handle, and I'd just as soon you call me Dan," he told aldermen and audience members shortly after taking the oath of office Tuesday.

"If you insist, you can call me 'Mayor Dan.' But I want to keep things on a first name basis.

"My goal is to create a friendly and even somewhat casual environment," Christopherson said. "I want you to feel free to be able to talk and speak up at our meetings."

The new mayor told citizens in the meeting chamber that he pledges to always seek adequate public input and share as much information as possible with citizens.

"We can only represent you if we know how you feel, and if you convey your thoughts to us," he said. He urged Vermillion residents to talk to their aldermen about any issue.

"Please let us know what your thoughts are so we can help convey those when we are deliberating on decisions," he said.

Christopherson also announced that he and City Manager Jim Patrick will begin holding separate open office hours from 4 to 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at city hall.

"That is a time when you can for sure find us," the mayor said. Appointments can be made in advance by calling city hall.

Christopherson said he has already received plenty of public input since his election June 1. "It's an enlightening process," he said. "This is an awesome responsibility that you have entrusted to me and the rest of the council, and I personally pledge to you each day that I will do my best to continue to earn your trust."

Earlier in the meeting, outgoing Alderman Gary Wright and Mayor Roger Kozak were honored for their years of service.

Aldermen Ray Hofman, Jack Powell, Kent Osborne and Mary Edelen also were given the oath of office by Circuit Court Judge Arthur Rusch.

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