By David Yarger
Last Saturday, the Town of Wheatfield hosted a swearing-in ceremony for the recent town justice-elect Angela Stamm-Philipps.
Stamm-Philipps was greeted by a packed audience of family, friends, justices and more inside the town’s courtroom.
The ceremony featured several remarks from attending justices and Stamm-Philipps, as well as the Pledge of Allegiance and a Christmas song said and sung by Stamm-Philipps’ children, John and Julia, respectively.
New York State Supreme Court Justice Frank Caruso acted as master of ceremonies for the event and offered several praising comments regarding Stamm-Philipps.
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Angela for many, many years. I can tell you that she’s an accomplished attorney, she’s intelligent, she was always very well-prepared, very well spoken and respectful. She’s a loving wife and mother; always sensitive to the needs of her family. You’ve all heard the term ‘family first,’ well, that truly defines Angela.
“She’s also a dedicated and loyal friend, I can tell you that. And in all aspects of her life, she works very hard and takes nothing and no one for granted. I will say this – talk about hard work; how about her campaign. Honest to God, I don’t think I have seen anyone run a harder-working, more organized campaign. … I’ll tell you, she was everywhere, and her campaign resonated with the voters,” Caruso said.
He added a short story from a time he was eating lunch where he overheard a couple voters praising the work of Stamm-Philipps.
Following an invocation by Deacon Daniel E. Buck and a moment of silence in memory of the late John Mattio, Niagara County Family Court Judge Erin DeLabio took a few minutes to talk about her relationship with Stamm-Philipps.
DeLabio said, “We became very involved with the Town of Wheatfield, because … we also wanted be part of our community to make it a better place. We’ve weathered many storms working through jobs, politics together being called upon to do many tasks that working moms dread, but, we never say no.
“Angela is a true friend (and) stuck with me as we both continue to become more and more involved as the years grow. … She is a wonderful example to her children and to others that you balance a career and a home life, but that the qualities necessary to achieve those goals are the ones that she exhibits before us. She is a caring and loving person. Family is her priority, friends are most important to her. She has been dedicated to being a public servant to serve her community and the public at large, and that is why she is before you today to now enter into another phase of her life, again, committing to serve her community one more time.”
Following DeLabio, Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon swore in Stamm-Philipps. Stamm-Philipps’ mother, Audrey Stamm, held the Bible, as she stood close by her family. Sheldon praised Audrey and said a lot of the characteristics and work ethic Stamm-Philipps exhibits comes from her mother.
Following the teary-eyed oath of office, Stamm-Philipps also took time to address the crowd.
“I am the luckiest person. I really am,” Stamm-Philipps said. “Becoming Wheatfield town justice is truly my dream come true. As I look out to all of you – old friends and new friends; family – my heart is so full. So many of you helped me get here. From small gestures to huge herculean tasks … it’s overwhelming the amount of help that went into this.”
After Stamm-Philipps’ remarks, there was a luncheon for attendees with food and beverages.
The audience at Wheatfield Town Hall stands and cheers as Stamm-Philipps is officially recognized as town justice.
Angela Stamm-Philipps offers remarks after being sworn in.
A celebratory cake congratulating Stamm-Philipps on her swearing-in.