Jeff Blubaugh was sworn in Tuesday as Wichita’s new vice mayor.
Blubaugh, a residential and commercial real estate broker who represents District 4 in southwest Wichita, replaces District 2 council member Pete Meitzner. His regular term will run into spring 2015.
He won a 5-2 vote last week over District 5 council member Jeff Longwell.
The vice mayor serves as second in command to Mayor Carl Brewer, running council meetings when the mayor is out of town and helping with a full load of public appearances.
Blubaugh said 2014 will be a pivotal year in Wichita’s recovery from the 2008 recession.
"This is an important time for Wichita, as our local economy strengthens and communities begin to grow again," he said.
Meitzner, who received a bronze statuette of the Keeper of the Plains, wryly noted the date of the changeover.
“I’ll always remember that on Tax Day, I received this award,” he laughed.
The outgoing vice mayor pointed to Wichita’s manufacturing roots.
“We make things here in Wichita,” he said. “It’s always good to tell people at the state that for every dollar that comes into our state, 50 cents of it comes from Wichita.
“Good luck to new Vice Mayor Blubaugh. He'll do well. He's got small shoes to fill.”