Probate Jude Alice Martin swore in Weaver Mayor Wayne Willis before the crowd, which included family members, a Boy Scout troop and a sprinkling of regular attendees.
During a regular meeting that followed, Willis promised to restore a pleasant sense of decorum to meetings, making note of the sometimes-volatile dynamic that existed between council members and former Mayor Garry Bearden.
“For the next four years this council is basically in a relationship,” Willis said, speaking to the council, which includes three first-time elected officials.
“It’s important that we work together if we’re going to move Weaver forward.”
Before the meeting, and after Willis’ swearing-in ceremony, the remaining members of the council were sworn in by former Weaver Councilwoman Sheila Field, an assistant district attorney in the office of Calhoun County District Attorney Brian McVeigh. During the formal meeting the council selected longtime commissioner Mike Warren to serve as mayor pro tem, in essence like a vice mayor.
Willis also announced that the council members will serve as liaisons to city departments, including public works and parks and recreation. He additionally announced that the city will re-establish its planning and zoning commission and that the city’s existing event planners would reorganize under the title “Spirit of Weaver.”
Before the close of the meeting Willis also asked each of the council members to plan on presenting a short-term goal and a long-term project for the city of Weaver.
Before a reception that followed the meeting, council members spoke to the crowd.
“We’re going to work hard,” said Councilwoman Ellen Cole, who was appointed to the council during the last term and elected to the council this term. “I just want to thank the city of Weaver for putting us in.”
The crowd of people who attended the event came as somewhat of a surprise to some of the regular attendees, who tend to number less than a half-dozen.
“I’d like to see this all the time,” said Greg Pierce, a Weaver resident who has become involved in municipal activities. “I’m more happy than I am surprised.”
Thomas and Stacy Odom attend almost every Weaver City Council meeting and watched several heated exchanges between the elected officials during the last term. The married couple said they think that, for Weaver, change will help the city.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” Stacy Odom said.
Staff writer Laura Johnson: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.