Council members sworn in as Brown gets emotional sendoff

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Maricopa City Hall, December 2020
Marvin Brown

With new members being sworn in, Maricopa City Council paid emotional farewell to Marvin Brown Tuesday night. Brown is stepping down from the council after 12 years.

The council also honored Julia Gusse, who served two terms but was unable to attend the meeting because she was self-quarantining.

Those sworn in Tuesday were Mayor Christian Price and Councilmember Nancy Smith, who were re-elected, and newcomers Bob Marsh and Amber Liermann. City Magistrate Lyle Riggs guided each through the oath of office. Smith was again selected as vice mayor for the year.

Price ran without competition and is starting his fourth term. He would not say if it his final term. He has not had a mayoral opponent in his last three campaigns.

Christian Price takes the oath as mayor for the fourth time, backed by his family.

Smith and Marsh were elected outright during the primary. Liermann was elected in the general election.

Brown and Gusse received street signs with their names, a traditional departure gift from the city. Price also displayed a stained-wood flag containing ledges to display challenge coins that will be presented to Gusse.

“There are very few people, I think, in the service of this city or anywhere that is as passionate about veterans as she is,” Price said. “It’s something that’s very near and dear to her heart. She has worked very closely in her personal life, in her job to move forward the causes of veterans and veteran suicide that occurs so regularly here across the country. The council wanted to tell her thank you for all the hours of service.”

To Brown, Price presented a statuette of an eagle and American flag. Price said Brown, who was vice mayor for a time, had “served valiantly.” In a more comical light, the council presented Brown and his wife, Helen, with first-class tickets on a flight out of a mythical Maricopa Airport, which Brown had pushed for.

Brown thanked his wife for encouraging him to run for council and supporting him during his time of service. He also thanked members of the council over the years and the voters of Maricopa.

“Service is very important, whatever position you hold, whether it’s the very top position at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., state office, county office, township office. If citizens elect you, you should serve seriously and do the very best job you can,” Brown said.

He told Marsh and Liermann they would be joining a great team.

“You’ll enjoy it,” he said. “Sometimes you’ll be puzzled but never disenchanted.”