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    by Michael Nocella

    CARMEL, N.Y. – Before saying goodbye to 2012, the Putnam County Courthouse hosted the swearing-in ceremony for New York state elected officials as well as Putnam County legislators and coroners.

    Among officials taking the oath of office were state Sen. Greg Ball and Assembly members Sandy Galef and Steve Katz.

    Putnam County Director of Personnel Paul J. Eldridge began the night by introducing all of those being recognized.

    “Today is the people’s day, the people’s ceremony,” he said. “Tonight we will witness the taking of oath of those we have elected. Our expectation is that these men and women we have chosen will move us forward.”

    U.S. Rep.-elect Sean Patrick Maloney and state Sen.-elect Terry W. Gipson, who defeated incumbent Sen. Stephen Saland in November, gave talks and will be sworn in after the new year.

    While most of the elected officials gave brief and cordial remarks wishing everyone in attendance a happy New Year, there were a few who took the time to set the tone for 2013.

    “Tonight is not about being a Republican or Democrat,” Ball said. “Tonight is about coming together. In my experience, when both sides come together, it’s a pretty great thing.”

    Galef demonstrated a sense of humor in reflecting back on the past year’s more trying times.

    “My name has not been good this last year,” she said, alluding to both the Sandy Hook and Hurricane Sandy tragedies. “I guess I’ll have to go by ‘Sandra.’ ”

    Whether they used their time at the lectern to say thank you or look back on 2012, all made the point of looking forward.

    “May we have a calmer year,” said Katz. “A great year in 2013.” (ARTICLE)