Rowan sworn in as Plains mayor
Council member Chris Allen, right, congratulates Plains Mayor Dan Rowan after administering the oath of office Thursday afternoon. (Chuck Bandel/Valley Press)
Valley Press | January 5, 2022 12:00 AM
Dan Rowan was sworn in Thursday in a fairly hastily arranged ceremony to begin serving a second, four-year-term as Mayor of the Town of Plains.
He was re-elected in November by a margin many might consider a landslide.
And Rowan, who has earned a reputation as a “get 'er done” public official for his progress in paving roads and actually getting the sewer lagoon nightmare to the pre-construction planning phase, is eager to serve the folks of the town he lives in and loves.
There’s just one thing: he is hoping someone will step forward real quick to take the mayoral reins so he can get on with another, more influential public service job he has been selected to take.
Reading the sections in the city charter under “definitions” ought to help get a handle on politics in general and legal speak in particular:
“The singular number includes the plural”
“Words in the present include the future”
“The word ‘oath’ includes ‘affirmation’ and the word ‘swear’ includes the word ‘affirm’. Every mode of oral statement under the oath or affirmation is embraced in the term ‘depose’.
And in case you’re still confused, “the word ‘official time’ whenever used shall mean standard time in the town of Plains.”
At approximately 4:45 p.m. “official time” Thursday, Rowan raised his right hand and agreed to the terms of oath of office for the Town of Plains, as read and administered by councilman Chris Allen of the third Ward.
And with that and a congratulatory handshake from Allen, Rowan officially began his second term in office, which he hopes will last only until his replacement can be found.
Shortly after his recent re-election, Rowan was asked to become a member of the Sanders County Board of Commissioners. He agreed to accept the position, which became open when long-time Commissioner Carol Brooker resigned, effective January 1, 2022.
His acceptance of the Commissioner job, which wields greater authority and responsibility on a county-wide basis as opposed to being in charge of Plains, was based on the Town’s ability to find a replacement for the newly-elected Mayor.
“We haven’t had much luck finding anyone as of yet,” Rowan said. “We had one candidate but that hasn’t worked out at this time.”
So, the search will continue to replace Rowan. And according to state law, a person cannot hold two elected or appointed positions of this type simultaneously.
“We are hoping someone will step forward soon,” he said.
Going back to the Town charter/constitution, anyone hoping to become the new Mayor must meet the following condition: “No person shall be eligible for the office of mayor unless such person be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the town or area which has been annexed by the town for a period of two (2) years next preceding the election. He shall reside in the town during his term in office”.
There are no official requirements listed concerning education or government experience.
The swearing in ceremony was held in the Council chambers. It was called to make sure the oath administration proceeded the end of the year deadline for such official duties and was held Thursday when it was realized the Town of Plains would be closed on Friday, the last business day of the year.
Anyone who meets the listed qualifications and would like to be Mayor can obtain more information at City Hall.