Taking the Oath
Early this week, city councils across the county swore an Oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Alabama, as councilmembers and mayors took their offices to serve their cities.
In Hodges Monday evening, the swearing in represented the beginning of a new era in leadership, as Mayor Terry Petree took his seat following Ed Crouch’s 28-year period as mayor. Following the Oath of Office, the mayor and council participated in an organizational meeting followed by adjournment to a reception. The council then reconvened to hold a regular business meeting, during which some of the newcomers got their first taste of conducting a council meeting. Councilwoman Samantha Gann was unanimously elected mayor pro tempore.
It was announced that Crouch will continue to serve as Water Superintendent for the town.
“I hope we can do the job that is supposed to be done here,” said Petree, getting choked up. “I pray the good Lord is with us. No matter what decisions we make up here, I want it to be in God’s will, not our will.”
In Russellville, Judge Paula McDowell swore in each councilmember and the mayor before a standing-room only crowd. The occasion marked the welcoming of one new councilman to the role, Arthur Elliott, who won his bid for election over incumbent Lanny Hubbard. Russellville held its first meeting with its new administration Monday.
Monday evening the city of Red Bay said goodbye to Mayor David Tiffin and welcomed new mayor Charlene Fancher, the first female mayor in the history of the town. Tiffin had been mayor since 2013, when Bobby Brown resigned as mayor for health concerns. The town also welcomed new councilmember Jason Vinson, who is taking Fancher’s previous seat on the council.
Probate Judge Barry Moore officiated the swearing-in ceremony, and the new administration held its first council meeting immediately thereafter.
Tiffin said the mayoral job was tough but enjoyable and gave his support for Fancher as she enters her first mayoral term. “For years, you get up several days a week, see the same people in the office, but every day is different,” he said. “I know Mayor Fancher very well, and I believe there’s no reason why she shouldn’t do a good job.”
Fancher said she is thankful to serve the city and hopes to be a good mayor in the years to come. “I give all the honor and glory to God Almighty,” she said. “I am very appreciative to the citizens of Red Bay for choosing me as their next mayor. However, a mayor is only as good as their team. I can’t do this alone. So, I ask the citizens for their continued support. I welcome Jason Vinson, who I know and respect. We (the council) all share the goal of trying to make Red Bay the best it can be.”