David Menken was sworn in as Bedford town justice on New Year's Day in Bedford's Justice Court in front of about a hundred people including friends, family and local and county officials.
He was elected to the position in November, successful in his second bid for the job. He lost by just 36 votes on his first run in 2009. Menken greeted his friends and supporters prior to the noontime ceremony where guests greeted each other with Happy New Year wishes.
Mt. Kisco Village Justice Mark F. Farrell administered the oath of office to Menken.
"It's a pleasure for me to participate in this swearing-in. I'm happy to see David moving on to a new role for Bedford, and I think Bedford will be the better for it," said Farrell.
Farrell also said there was a void left by the late Kevin Quaranta, the former town justice who died earlier this year.
"David will do his best to fill that void," he said.
After taking the oath, Menken told an anecdote shared with him by a town resident while he campaigned for the position. The story was about a man who felt powerful by operating a large crane, moving shipping containers from a sailing vessel to land. "In fact, it's not him that has the power, it's the crane," said Menken. "And in this case, it's not me that has the power, it's the court."
He thanked the crowd for coming [see attached video for highlights of the ceremony], and for putting their trust in him to carry out the responsibilities of the court.
Bedford Democratic Committee volunteer Bea Rhodes, who helped Menken manage his election campaign, said the occasion felt bittersweet.
"Of course it's a joyous occasion today for David," she said. "But for obvious reasons, there's a bit of sadness too. We miss Kevin."