PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Bagpipes and flags ushered in the swearing-in of four Pittsburgh city council incumbents today — Darlene Harris, Bruce Kraus, Patrick Dowd, and Ricky Burgess — and one new member — Corey O’Connor — son of the late Mayor Bob O’Connor.
“I, Corey O’Connor do solemnly swear,” O’Connor recited as he took the oath of office.
“It’s bittersweet I guess for all of us,” said Judy O’Connor, wife of the late mayor and Corey’s mother. “And I said to Corey when I got out of the car, ‘Corey, I don’t want to cry today.’ He said, ‘Ma, you can cry as much as you want.'”
But there were no dry eyes in house, as Corey recalled his dad.
“I know he is somewhere out — he’s somewhere up in Heaven as a very proud Pittsburgher.”
The 27-year old did have some good news to share.
“As of last night, through hours of trying to convince her, we got engaged,” introducing Katie Stohlberg, a Swissvale native, who — like Corey — worked for Congressman Mike Doyle.
But his final words brought back the tears.
“I just have to say, ‘Dad, wherever you are, I love you, we’re all with you, and I know you’re with me through these difficult days, and I just want to thank you,’ thank everyone here for coming, and looking forward to getting to work.”
It was an emotional moment for everyone in the council chambers.
Following the swearing-in, Darlene Harris was re-elected to a second term as council president.
There will be some changes in who chairs council committees.
Harris appointed Ricky Burgess to chair the important Finance Committee, previously chaired by Bill Peduto.
O’Connor was named to chair the Urban Recreation & Parks Committee.