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Palm Beach County commissioners elect new mayor, vice mayor, welcome 2 newcomers

Gregg Weiss tapped as mayor, Maria Sachs becomes vice mayor; Sara Baxter, Marci Woodward sworn in
New lineup of Palm Beach County commissioners, Nov. 22, 2022
Posted at 1:22 PM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 14:07:51-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County has a new mayor and vice mayor.

Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to name recently reelected District 2 Commissioner Gregg Weiss as mayor and District 5 Commissioner Maria Sachs as vice mayor.

Gregg Weiss speaks after becoming Palm Beach County mayor, Nov. 22, 2022
District 2 Commissioner Gregg Weiss speaks after becoming the new Palm Beach County mayor, Nov. 22, 2022, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Two newcomers – Sara Baxter and Marci Woodward – were also sworn in as county commissioners.

Baxter replaces outgoing District 6 Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who termed out of office, and Woodward replaces former Mayor Robert Weinroth, who lost his reelection bid.

The remaining commissioners said their goodbyes to McKinlay and Weinroth, praising them for their leadership throughout some of the most trying times in Palm Beach County.

McKinlay, fighting back tears, spoke about how she moved to Palm Beach County in 2004 and five years later was divorced with three children and no job.

When she first considered running for office, McKinlay recalled being asked if she was sure she wanted to represent a district that included the western communities in the Glades.

WATCH: Melissa McKinlay offers tearful goodbye

Melissa McKinlay offers tearful goodbye as Palm Beach County commissioner

"I said I can't think of any other better reason to want to run for office than to have the opportunity to represent a place where you can really make a difference," McKinlay said.

She also said she considers her time as commissioner to be one of the greatest arenas for public service.

"You get to make a difference in the lives of the people that you serve," McKinlay said before receiving a standing ovation.

Although she supported Baxter's opponent in the general election, McKinlay promised to make herself available to her successor and help her in any way that she can.

Weinroth also offered parting words before leaving the dais.

WATCH: Outgoing mayor: 'This has been really the job of a lifetime'

Palm Beach County Mayor Robert Weinroth: 'This has been really the job of a lifetime'

"This has been really the job of a lifetime," he said. "This is really the icing on the cake of public service."

After Baxter and Woodward were sworn in, each got the opportunity to introduce themselves.

WATCH: Meet Marci Woodward

Meet Marci Woodward, Palm Beach County District 4 commissioner

Woodward thanked her supporters and those who helped with her campaign.

"Proof that a citizen does have a place in local government," she said.

Woodward also thanked Weinroth for a "smooth transition" and acknowledged that she has much to learn as a first-time elected official.

"I know there's a learning curve and everyone's promised to help me get where I need to be," she said. "Everyone up here has been very gracious and I hope to make you all proud as well. I know that I aim to represent you the way that I want to be represented myself."

Baxter called her new role the "honor of a lifetime."

WATCH: Meet Sara Baxter

Meet Sara Baxter, Palm Beach County District 6 commissioner

"I do not believe that I could ever in a million years replace or duplicate Melissa McKinlay, because she was one of a kind," Baxter said. "I will look forward to working with her on questions and use some of that knowledge over the past eight years, and I think it would be a disservice to the constituents to not do that."