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New Albany mayor takes oath of office

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Albany's newest mayor took the oath of office on Friday with a mask and an elbow bump. 

Alex Johnson II raised his right hand in a mostly empty City Council chamber and recited the oath of office a little earlier than usual.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, City Council meetings have moved online, but according to Albany City Manager Peter Troedsson, the private swearing-in wasn't that far out of the ordinary. 

"The (city) clerk has a window during which she has to ensure individual officeholders are sworn in," he said. "That window is between the certification of election results and the start of the new year. This has always been done, but it’s been done on an individual and very informal basis."

For Johnson, the swearing-in happened last Friday and was topped with a socially distant elbow bump in lieu of handshake from Troedsson. 

Traditionally, newly elected officials have a ceremonial swearing-in at the first meeting of the year. But because the Albany City Council is still meeting remotely, that tradition will change. 

"Given the strong likelihood that we will still be meeting virtually, we’ve recorded last week’s swearing-in, and we’ll be able to share that recording in lieu of the traditional ceremony," Troedsson said. 

While Johnson has officially taken the oath of office, Sharon Konopa retains her position as mayor until her term ends at the end of the year. Johnson's oath of office will take effect on Jan. 1. 

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