Longtime city leader takes the helm as Leesburg’s new mayor

Leesburg welcomed a familiar face as the city’s new mayor on Monday night while also welcoming aboard a brand new commissioner.

Leesburg Mayor John Christian is sworn in by City Clerk J. Andi Purvis on Monday night.

Longtime Commissioner John Christian, who ran unopposed in November, was chosen to serve his fourth term as the city’s mayor. He was first elected to the commission in 2004 and served as mayor in 2005 and 2008. But this will be his last term on the governing board because Leesburg voters passed an amendment in 2012 calling for term limits for their commissioners.

New Leesburg Commissioner Mike Pederson is sworn in by City Clerk J. Andi Purvis on Monday night.

Commercial real estate agent Mike Pederson also was sworn in as the newest member of the commission. He ran unopposed and replaced attorney Bob Bone, who elected not to seek a second term so he could spend more time with his two young sons, both of whom were in attendance at the commission meeting Monday night to see their father accept a plaque honoring him for his four years of service.

“It’s been my pleasure and a real honor to have served with all of you,” Bone told the four commissioners who were in attendance at the meeting (Jay Hurley was absent). “I appreciate the time we had to work together professionally and I’m especially grateful for your friendships. I hope those continue on for many years to come.”

For his part, Pederson said he’s extremely excited to get started as a commissioner.

“This is my first time in a role like this and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Pederson, who works for Grizzard Commercial Real Estate Group.

Mayor John Christian, right, honors outgoing Mayor Dan Robuck III on Monday night. Robuck was elected for a second term as a commissioner in November.

Outgoing Mayor Dan Robuck III also received a plague thanking him for his year of service in the lead seat on the commission.

“It was an honor and a privilege and a pleasure to serve with Dan Robuck as the mayor of our city,” Christian said. “I think Dan brought a lot of insight and he’s really set the bar high for the mayor’s office.”

Robuck also was sworn in Monday night for his second term as a commissioner after easily defeating Don Lukich in this past November’s election. He is the chief financial officer of his family’s business, Romac Lumber. And like Christian, this will be his final stint on the commission because of term limits.

Finally, Leesburg Commissioner Elise Dennison was chosen as mayor pro tem. She made the motion to appoint Christian as mayor and will step into the role if needed when he’s not available.

Mayor John Christian, right, presented outgoing Commissioner Bob Bone with a plaque thanking him for his service. Bone didn’t seek a second term and was replaced by commercial real estate agent Mike Pederson, who ran unopposed.