New Sandwich Mayor Todd Latham already has been quite busy in his new role, but he didn’t get officially sworn into office until the regular city council meeting May 10.
“I felt like the meeting has been more ceremonial with some of the aldermen appointments so the idea was to the keep the agenda light,” Latham said. “We recognized the people we did and had some carryout agenda items. I didn’t have the opportunity to draft the agenda so we’ll see that next week.”
Two of Latham’s first big decisions were the appointments of former Ward 3 Alderman Pete Dell as city treasurer and Bill Fritsch as Dell’s replacement as alderman. Dell opted to not run for re-election after serving from 2013-2021.
“I had a nice conversation with Pete and I told him that he could still serve the community even though he wanted to step back from being an alderman,” Latham said of Dell. “We went back and forth and some people feel the (city treasurer) was underutilized and we might be ale to use his skill set to make it a more meaningful appointment. We’ve known each other for years so he agreed. He’s a tremendous asset.”
Latham’s parents, wife and children were in attendance at the May 10 meeting to watch him take his oath of office.
“My parents live in town and grew up here and my wife is a big supporter of me and I try to be a role model for my kids to show them what you can do in the community,” he said. “It was more meaningful for me for them to be there. I did enjoy it. A lot of people in the community supported me by voting for me.”
Aldermen Bill Littlebrandt and Rick Whitecotton and City Clerk Denise Ii also were sworn in, but aren’t new to the council. Littlebrandt and Whitecotton were elected for the first time on April 6 after being appointed last year by former mayor and current alderman Rich Robinson.
Latham shared that he’s been active in meeting with city employees and touring facilities, recognizing that there’s work to be done and plenty to learn about within the various departments.
“I’ve been touring facilities and meeting with the leaders of the city, superintendents, engineers and city hall and looking at procedures and what we can improve,” he said. “The police employees have been without a collective bargaining agreement for almost a year now. They can’t strike (it’s illegal for police to leave the public unprotected), but we’ll see if we can get everyone back to the table to negotiate and pass it.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle