Peoria inducts new mayor, councilmembers

Municipal Judge George Anagnost swears in, from left, Jennifer Crawford, Denette Dunn and Michael Finn as the newest members the Peoria City Council. (City of Peoria/Submitted)

Peoria inducted its new mayor and city councilmembers for their four-year terms on Jan. 3.

Outgoing mayor and mayor pro tempore Cathy Carlat and Vicki Hunt, respectively, introduced new Mayor Jason Beck. Jennifer Crawford, Michael Finn and Denette Dunn took their seats with the council.

“I think it’s extremely important that we have as much participation in the city as possible from all areas of the city,” Beck said. “North, south, central, every aspect, we have six districts up here that are represented. It’s extremely important that your voice is heard by your councilmembers and then represented by this dais and represented for the city as a whole.”

The ceremony was met with a packed crowd, even forcing spectators into an “overflow room.” After the Pledge of Allegiance, Carlat and Hunt shared their appreciation toward the city and their excitement about its direction.

“I love Peoria,” Hunt said. “I just want the best for Peoria, and any way that I can continue to help see that happen is where my heart is and where my hands will be as well. … I’m so honored and feel so blessed to have spent the last 20 years of my life, specifically serving the city of Peoria. Thank you.”

Carlat added, “It has been a total joy in working with all of you, and I am just honored to have served the residents of the city of Peoria for the last 18 years. It’s humbling. There’s not much more I can say. I’m just completely humbled, so thank you. Thank you very much.”

Immediately following these remarks, Presiding Municipal Judge George Anagnost swore in Crawford (Acacia District), Dunn (Pine District), Finn (Palo Verde District) and then Beck. Dunn had been an interim city councilmember since 2019; after filling a vacancy, she won the regular election.

After a brief intermission, the new elects took the dais and presided over council. Peoria City Council also appointed Dunn to serve as vice mayor and Councilmember Jon Edwards as mayor pro tempore for one-year terms beginning immediately.

Westbrook Village resident Jim Keller shared a nonscheduled congratulations.

“I’m here to officially congratulate Jason Beck as our new mayor,” Keller said. “We’re proud to have you as our new mayor, Jason.”

The governing body left with hopeful remarks about Peoria’s direction.

“We are going to ensure that we take care of all areas of Peoria now and in the future,” Beck said.