City officials take oaths of office

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 5, 2004

From town to town throughout the Black Belt, celebrations were held as the new – and some returning – mayors and council members were sworn in.

“We’re having a fish fry for the mayor, Eutaw resident Pat Smith said.

In Demopolis, CecilWilliamson was sworn in as the town’s new mayor, replacing outgoing Austin Caldwell, who retired.

Also sworn in were council members,Woody Collins, Charles E. Jones, Melvin Yelverton, Thomas Moore and Jack Cooley. The newly sworn members and their mayor went right to work with their first council meeting.

Williamson calls executive session

Newly sworn Demopolis Mayor Cecil Williamson began her term by calling an executive session.

“I invite y’all to enjoy the reception and we will adjourn to the other room for an executive session,” Williams told those gathered after all other business had been taken care of.

Following the executive session, the mayor and council returned to the council chambers and adjourned. Williams would not say what the session was about.

“Executive session is executive session,” she said. “I know enough to know that.”

An executive session is typically called to discuss a person’s good name and character or litigation.

Other than the unexpected private meeting, the council meeting was a matter of housekeeping.

Williamson got off to a shaky start, as councilman Jack Cooley had to remind her that in addition to a motion and second, any business also has to be voted on.

The first-time mayor recovered well, backtracking over the few items they had discussed – approving the minutes, electing a mayor pro tem and setting council meeting dates and times – and asked for a vote, all of which were unanimous.

A few moments later, she was on track and on a roll as she announced the council would take care of appointing committees at the next meeting, and asked about the mayor taking over utilities.

Councilman Thomas Moore asked the issue be continued until the next meeting, and Williamson agreed.

The council also agreed not to make any decision regarding a new chief of police or other department heads until next meeting.

The next meeting will be Oct. 7 in the council chambers. Regular meetings will remain the first and third Thursdays at 5:15 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.