VIENNA - Incoming Vienna city officials were sworn into their offices for a second time on Friday following questions about the validity of the first ceremony Thursday evening.
"We had some concerns because the state is not exactly clear on when or how a magistrate judge is able to officiate a swearing-in, so we did it again," said Vienna Mayor-elect Randy Rapp on Friday. "I had everyone come into the city building and be re-sworn in."
Questions arose about whether the first swearing-in actually gave Rapp, council members Paul Thornton, Steve Stephens, Jim Miracle, Roger Bibbee and Bruce Rogers and city recorder Cathy Smith the powers their elected positions guarantee. This is because Wood County Magistrate-elect Joe Kuhl presided over the original swearing-in ceremony on Thursday.
Because Kuhl is not technically a magistrate with the powers to officiate such a ceremony until Jan. 1, it was not clear whether the first event was proper, Rapp said.
"You never know where there are questions, so we just decided to do it over and make sure it was done right," Rapp said. "We did it the second time to make sure everything was done properly, so there are no questions out there."
For the second swearing-in, city clerk Carla Starcher officiated as she is a notary public.
According to Jake Glance with West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant's office, notary publics are able to swear in officials.
"A lot of the time, the only requirement for people to have the authority to swear in city officials is they need to be a notary," Glance said.
Rapp said he was pleased to have the city officials in place and sworn-in with more than enough time to spare until the new year.
"We still have four days until Jan. 1, so it is done and properly, that's all we need," he said.