|Apopka's newly sworn council members (from left) Billie Dean, |
Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, Diane Velázquez and Sam Ruth. /photos by Maria Padilla
APOPKA – It was a day filled with choked-backed tears here as the first new mayor in nearly 60 years and the first Hispanic councilwoman were sworn into office in front of a jam-packed audience at the city's community center.
Joe Kilsheimer and Diane Velázquez, along with Sam Ruth, are the new faces of the Apopka City Council. Although he didn't attend the ceremony, the shadow of nonagenarian ex Mayor John Land, who ran the city for 57 years and lost to the younger upstart Kilsheimer, was lurking in the background.
"Mayor Land has left some big shoes to fill," Kilsheimer, 55, said after being sworn in. Then he promised that "we can make it so that Apopka's future flows from its history."