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Madison County: Becker takes helm

When the final tally was announced, a choked-up Becker crossed the room to hug DiVeronica.

"I've had a great run, folks," DiVeronica said as Becker moved to his seat in the front of the chambers. "I've accomplished more than I ever thought possible in my time. I appreciate working for this board, and it has been my pleasure to serve as chairman."

"I would like to thank Mr. DiVeronica for his years of service," Goldstein said, prompting a standing ovation.

"It's an honor and a privilege to sit here," Becker said.

Becker said the board cannot take lightly the tasks it faces. He said it was the hard work of people like DiVeronica that set the foundation for the work of the future.

"The most terrifying words in the English language are, 'We're here from the government, and we're here to help,'" Becker said, earning some laughs.

Becker said it was his hope to change that perception of county government by making sure legislators and employees alike have the tools to do their jobs successfully, but urged his colleagues to vote their consciences and to not fear failure.

"What good are we if we cannot see both sides of the story?" Becker said.

A passion for open government is critical, Becker said, something he said was demonstrated by the installation of nine new supervisors in two years' time.

"I believe the taxpayers have spoken," Becker said.

Becker named Bargabos, just elected to his fifth term, as vice chairman.

Supervisors had a variety of reasons for voting for the relatively new Becker.

"My nomination of John Becker was not meant as a referendum on the past," said Moran who was elected in the same election cycle as Becker in 2005. "Rather, it was a look to the future. John is open to new ideas and partnerships. He takes the time to talk about issues, listen to many opinions and explore alternatives. He played a lead role in the decision to reform the IDA and was willing to take decisive action."

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