Friday, December 19, 2014

South Alabama Municipal Officials Sworn In
By Catalina Trivino

Mayors and city council members took the oath of office today -- while some are brand new, others are returning for another term.

In Andalusia, it's the first time since the 1970's the city has had a mayor returning for a consecutive term. Mayor Earl Johnson was sworn in for his second consecutive term, although it's his third time as mayor. He previously served in 2000 through 2004. Four of the five city council representatives were re-elected as well.

"This is the first time an entire council has been re-elected to serve... to follow themselves in office since 1952. We do have one new council member, but the position he ran for was vacated by the prior council member who chose not to run again," Said Johnson, who also says Ralph Wells was sworn in for the District 4 seat to replace Jason Jewel on the council.

In Opp, a completely new administration is taking office. Businessman, John Bartholomew, is the new mayor. Other newcomers include city council members Bobby Ray Owens, T.D. Morgan, Mike Booth, Harry Brundige and Arlin Davis.

Bartholomew says the whole administration is taking courses to learn about city management.

"Each one of us is learning ethics for the city, learning the city government, learning how to approach the city government and what we need to do and working in a city government... working together for the betterment of the people," Said Bartholomew.

This is the first time since 1972 that a totally new administration will lead Opp.

In Greenville, Mayor Dexter McLendon is returning for his fourth term as Mayor after previously serving on the city council for 12 years. The council is welcoming a political newcomer to represent District 1 -- Bryan Reynolds.

"It's an opportunity for us to continue to grow and to have more things in Greenville and a better quality of life for our citizens -- and the biggest thing is to continue to work together," Said McLendon.