Officials sworn in; start new terms


State attorney William P. Cervone is sworn into office by Chief Judge Frederick D. Smith, as fellow constitutional officers being sworn in look on, left to right, tax collector Von Fraser, Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell, and Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter, Tuesday, January 6, 2008 at the Alachua County Family/Civil Justice Center in Gainesville, Fla.

Erica Brough/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 11:52 p.m.

A new old face was among the Alachua County elected officials sworn in to new terms Tuesday with the return of Tax Collector Von Fraser.

In early October, Fraser temporarily resigned to have surgery to repair a heart ailment. He has now healed and returned to the job.

"The surgery went just fine and I feel great," Fraser said after the ceremony. "Before the surgery they said I had a hole in my heart the size of a quarter. But afterward the doctor told me I was lucky I didn't have a heart attack because the hole was the size of a silver dollar."

Also sworn in at noon were State Attorney Bill Cervone, Elections Supervisor Pam Carpenter, Property Appraiser Ed Crapo, Sheriff Sadie Darnell and Clerk of the Court Buddy Irby.

Fraser was elected as tax collector in 2000, took office in 2001 and was returned to office last year without opposition. He has had a heart illness since childhood and could not put surgery off any longer.

He told the crowd gathered at the ceremony he was glad to be back on the job and praised his staff for their fine work.

"I'm just so privileged to serve as tax collector - it's a dream job that I always wanted," he said.

The other officials praised their staffs as well and thanked voters for returning them to office.

Darnell is the most junior constitutional officer. She was elected in the fall to her first four-year term after winning election to a partial term in 2006.

Irby is the longest-serving county official - entering his 33rd year as either clerk or, previously, election supervisor. He choked up a bit when remembering his father, former teacher and school principal William Irby, who recently died.

"My father always said to leave it better than you found it," Irby said. "We're going to try."

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