The importance of good governance was the focus as Buckeye Boys State inaugurated its governor for the 2016 session Wednesday night.
David Helm of Groveport was administered the oath of office by Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy at the Stroh Center on the campus of Bowling Green State University.
Helm told the Sentinel he was looking forward to “running my administration in the right way” as the week continued, with “bipartisan common ground.”
The event also featured the certification of the BBS election results and the swearing-in of other elected Boys State officials, meaning that the executive, legislative and judicial operations of Buckeye Boys State could officially commence.
In his inaugural address, Helm, a student at Groveport Madison High School, urged his fellow BBS delegates to “tackle your jobs with excitement and a strong sense of purpose. ... I will come to work every day and perform to my full potential.”
“I believe everyone here has the potential to be a leader,” no matter what part of the government they are participating in.
“Each one of us should do our best to prove to everyone ... that we are truly 1,200 of the best men, not just in the state, but in the United States of America.”
Before his swearing-in, Helm entered the well of the Stroh Center in ceremonial fashion, walking between a double line of American Legion members, and preceded by two Legionnaires and two Ohio State Troopers who led him to the dais.
Helm’s mother, father and two younger brothers were present on the dais, and he recognized them later in the evening’s program, noting “without them I would not be up here speaking.”
Then, addressing the gathered delegates, he said, “We’re all doing this together, so I consider you all my family.”
Kennedy, in her remarks at the event, told the delegates “it is your responsibility to inform and become a learned voter in thoughtful reflection of who would best serve your interests and the interests of your communities.”
Elections, she said, “should never be confused with the responsibility of governance. Elections are a means to an end, but governance is the real result.”
“Beyond the ‘I’ of a candidate is ‘we the people,’” Kennedy said. “Elected officials are answerable to all of us.”
She also admonished the delegates not to act beyond the scope of their respected offices.
“All of you, elected here, must honor your oath of office you have taken tonight. You hold yourselves accountable in limited governments and cannot take an act greater than what the law has given. ... As elected representatives, remember your limited power. Honor your oath and work within the limitation. ... Work hard. Work together. Have fun. Always remember that, in the end, we are all one people.”