Swearing in

It was a packed, standing-room-only crowd in the City Council chambers tonight for the swearing-in ceremony. Incumbents Susan Eggman and Elbert Holman, Jr. and new Councilman Paul Canepa each took the oath.

• Former San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge William J. Murray (now an appellate judge) swore Holman in, who had his wife Marcia, daughter Lisa and grandchildren join him at the podium.

When it was his turn for remarks, he thanked Stockton residents for putting confidence in him. “In my mind there are not many callings that are more noble than answering the call when the community calls you,” he said. He also expressed faith that Stockton will emerge from its economic crisis. “I belive this is a resiliant city,” he said. “We’re gonna make it.”

• Canepa was sworn in by former county supervisor Dario Marenco. Canepa’s wife, Leslie, and two daughters joined him at the podium.

During the oath, there was an amusing exchange.

Marenco: “I …”

Canepa: “I …”

There was a brief, awkward pause, and Marenco motioned at Canepa to say his name.

“Paul Canepa,” he rebounded, with laughter. “I’m still wondering if I want to do this or not,” he quipped.

“It’s too late,” Mayor Ann Johnston said.

During Canepa’s remarks, the new councilman also alluded to the city’s challenges: “We need to work collectively with business and staff and try to make Stockton a better place to live.”

• Eggman had a resident of her district – Rick Dimas, a Vietnam veteran who lives in southeast Stockton – do the honors for her. Her partner, Renee Hall, joined them.

Eggman said she chose Dimas because she wanted to be sworn in by a constituent who “holds me accountable every day.” She got choked up as she praised Dimas for choosing to live and be active in his neighborhood even though he could live anywhere else. And she fought back more tears as she made an impassioned plea to keep faith in Stockton, despite its challenges.

“If all of us succeed, nothing can stop Stockton,” she said. “I don’t know of a place that has more courage than Stockton. We’re going to fight our way out of this … and rival any city in the country.”

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