City Council swearing in

RobinWood/News-Miner City Clerk Janey Hovenden, left, reads the oath of office to Jerry Cleworth, center, and David Pruhs at the Fairbanks City Council meeting on Monday. Pruhs was elected to Seat F and Cleworth to Seat E, both three-year terms.

FAIRBANKS — David Pruhs and Jerry Cleworth were sworn in as the newest members of Fairbanks City Council at Monday’s meeting. 

Pruhs, 54, took Seat F after defeating incumbent Chris Anderson. 

Anderson was appointed to the seat last October after John Eberhart was elected mayor of Fairbanks.

Cleworth, 62, defeated Shannon Vargas for Seat E, previously held by Councilman Lloyd Hilling. Hilling did not run for re-election. Cleworth is the former mayor of Fairbanks and a longtime councilman. 

Both seats are three-year terms.

Departing members Hilling and Anderson reflected on their time in office and thanked fellow council members and staff for their hard work. 

Hilling said public servants should “... vote their conscience. Not what the citizen wants, but what he believes is right and just and proper for a society.”

According to Anderson, regardless of how votes went members “were always friends” outside meetings. Anderson’s disappointed he won’t get to work on diversity issues with the new police chief. 

In turn, council members thanked Hilling and Anderson for their hard work, then welcomed Pruhs and Cleworth to the council. 

After taking their seats the new members made their own comments. 

Cleworth said returning to the council was a “joy.” He thanked long-time friend Anderson for his commitment to the city, and wondered if Hilling’s Libertarian viewpoints are ahead of the times. 

Pruhs said it’s an honor to join the council. “I’m a Fairbanksan. Anything I can do to help this city, it’s my duty,” he said. 

Pruhs and Cleworth didn’t get much time to test the council waters. 

Minutes after taking the oath of office the meeting adjourned into executive session to discuss labor negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO and Fairbanks Firefighters Union. 

Contact staff writer Robin Wood at 459-7510.