The new honorary mayor of Fair Haven, Vermont — a 3-year-old goat named Lincoln — was officially sworn into office this week. The goat was dressed in a sash reading “Mayor” for the Tuesday ceremony at the Fair Haven town offices.
Town Clerk Suzanne Dechame and the select board were present to deliver the oath of office.
Fair Haven, a town of about 2,500 along the border with New York just west of Rutland, does not have an actual mayor.
Town Manager Joseph Gunter says the honorary pet mayor idea was conceived as a fundraiser for a playground, but it turned into a civics lesson for kids. According to CBS affiliate WCAX-3, students on election day took to the polls with their parents to pick from a packed race of 16 candidates ranging from cats to dogs. Lincoln secured the office by a razor-thin margin of 3 votes.
“What I’m hoping is they took away a little sense of civic pride, you know, taking part in the community, going down to the voting places on voting day. I hope that they got excited about it went down and took part,” Gunter told WCAX. Lincoln’s owner Christopher Stapleton told the station that he hoped to see children getting involved in voting with their parents on a regular basis.
On the way out of the offices, the honorary mayor defecated on the floor — leaving clean-up to the police chief and other attendees.