Bagnell is the new mayor in Ventnor

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Commissioner Frank Sarno, Mayor Michael Bagnell and Commissioner Theresa Kelly pose for a photo after the ceremonies.  Commissioner Frank Sarno, Mayor Michael Bagnell and Commissioner Theresa Kelly pose for a photo after the ceremonies.

VENTNOR – Michael Bagnell was chosen mayor at the swearing-in ceremony and first meeting of the city commissioners Tuesday afternoon, May 15.

Bagnell and Commissioners Frank Sarno and Theresa Kelly were sworn in by City Clerk Janice Callaghan before a crowd of supporters in Commission Chambers at City Hall.

Kelly was re-elected to her second term, and Bagnell and Sarno won the seats of former Commissioners John Piatt and Michael Advena in the May 8 nonpartisan municipal election.

Bagnell, 57, was chosen mayor by his fellow commissioners. He will also serve as the commissioner of public affairs and public safety. Kelly will continue to serve as the commissioner of public works, parks and public property as she has since 2010, and Sarno will take over as commissioner of revenue and finance.

Betty Bagnell held the Bible for her son during his swearing-in.

Bagnell said it was a special moment for him but strange since this is his first run at politics.

“I have a vision for our city. I’d like to see some of it done, most of it done preferably. We have a lot of work ahead of us; a lot of it on infrastructure has been started by the prior administration, and I thank you for that. They really did clear a pathway for us and took a lot of hurtles out of our way,” Bagnell said.

He retired as captain of the Ventnor City Fire Department in 2010 after serving the city for 29 years as a firefighter and officer.

“I want work with the merchants in the city to strengthen their association so they become an effective force. I also want to create ways for them to go out and seek people to come to our city. We want to make this the best city in the world. We’re going to need every citizen’s help to do this – we can’t do it alone.”

Sarno, 37, who was sworn in accompanied by his wife, Maria, and their children Mattie and Hayden, thanked his family for their support.

“I’m looking forward to working with Mike and Theresa and the citizens of Ventnor to make this a better place to live,” he said.

Sarno is owner and operator of Hi-Standard Home Repair and serves as director of the Absecon Island Surfing Championship held each summer at the Ventnor Municipal Fishing Pier.

Dennis Kelly held the Bible as his wife was sworn in. Kelly, 73, became the city’s first woman mayor when she was elected in 2008.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the citizens of Ventnor who supported our efforts during the past four years. A special thanks to John Piatt and Mike Advena for their service. A very special thanks to those who volunteered their time, energy and money to improve our way of life,” said Kelly.

“I encourage all Ventnorites to continue their support for this new administration to keep Ventnor moving forward.”

The next meeting of the Ventnor City Commissioners is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17.

Photos by Shaun Smith 

Bagnell is the new mayor in Ventnor Mayor Michael Bagnell is sworn in by City Clerk Janice Callaghan while his mother, Betty Bagnell, holds the Bible.   Bagnell is the new mayor in Ventnor Commissioner Frank Sarno recites the oath of office read by City Clerk Janice Callaghan as his wife, Maria, holds the Bible. They are joined by their children Mattie, 6, and Hayden, 3.   Bagnell is the new mayor in Ventnor City Clerk Janice Callaghan reads the oath of office to Commissioner Theresa Kelly as her husband, Dennis Kelly, holds the Bible.   Bagnell is the new mayor in Ventnor Mayor Michael Bagnell addresses the crowd.   Bagnell is the new mayor in Ventnor Commissioner Frank Sarno addresses the crowd.   Bagnell is the new mayor in Ventnor The Sarno family gathers for a photo in Commission Chambers. In back from left are Rose, Frank and Maria Sarno and Mary Ann Kobrinsky. In front are Hayden Sarno, 3, Mattie Sarno, 6, and Branden Cahill, 5.


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