Smyrna’s four newest elected officials took their seats Tuesday night during a swearing-in ceremony at .
But before Mayor Max Bacon, all seven council members and other city officials took the oath of office from Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs, three of the four outgoing council members said their final goodbyes.
Said outgoing Councilman Jimmy Smith of Ward 5, “To the four new council members, tonight is about you. The next meeting and the meetings thereafter are about the city. You were elected by your ward that you support and serve the entire city, so the best of luck to you.’’
Taking the oath of office for the first time on Tuesday evening were council members Andrea Blustein, Ward 2; Corkey Welch, Ward 4; Susan Wilkinson, Ward 5; and Ron Fennel, Ward 7.
“I want to do the very best for you,’’ Blustein said to her Ward 2 constituents. “Don’t be a stranger. If you call, I’m going to answer it. It may not be in five minutes, but you will hear from me before the day is out if at all possible.”
The four newcomers were joined by returning council members Melleny Pritchett, Ward 1; Teri Anulewicz, Ward 3; and Wade Lnenicka, Ward 6. And of course, Bacon, who was first sworn into office in 1985, again took the oath as his mother, Mrs. Arthur T. Bacon, held the Bible during his swearing in.
“I want to thank the citizens of Smyrna for the 76 percent vote I received in this last election,’’ Bacon said. “I’m very proud and honored and very humbled to return as mayor. I look forward to this new council moving forward as the old council did so much to make our city a better city.
“I’m going to have a positive influence, and a positive movement on this city and we’re going to make this city even greater than it is.”
Everyone who was sworn in Tuesday was joined either by family members, friends, or a combination of both during the process.
“This is a tremendous honor to have been asked to do this tonight,’’ said Grubbs before the ceremony began. “This is a great city and I really respect every one of them.’’
In addition to the mayor and council, those also taking the oath Tuesday included, City Attorney Scott Cochran; City Administrator Eric Taylor; City Clerk Susan Hiott; Traffic Court Judge Alton Curtis; Environmental Court Judge Joel Pugh; Traffic Court Solicitor Bill Morse; and Environmental Court Solicitor Tim Williams.
Councilwoman Pritchett was also named Mayor Pro Tempore. “I promise to do the very best job I can to keep you all informed on everything that’s going on and have your back Mayor when you’re out of town,’’ she said.
In addition, Bacon assigned the 2012 committee responsibilities to the council. Anulewicz will serve as chairperson for Finance and Administration/Purchasing/Telecommunications/Annexation/Economic Development and Redevelopment with Bluststein and Fennel serving as members.
Lnenicka will chair Human Resources/Court Services with Anulewicz and Pritchett as members. Welch will serve as chairperson for Public Works/Keep Smyrna Beautiful/Historical Review with Blustein and Wilkinson as members.
Blustein will be the chairperson for Community Development /Alcohol Beverage License with Pritchett and Lnenicka as members. Parks and Recreation/Library /Cemetery/Community Culture/Veterans Memorial will be chaired by Wilkinson with members Welch and Lnenicka.
Police, 911, Fire will be chaired by Fennel with members Wilkinson and Welch. And the Vision/Education Committee will be chaired by Pritchett with members Anulewicz and Fennel.
The mayor and council, along with the city administrator, attorney and clerk, are scheduled to take a team-building retreat to the Athens area this coming weekend.
On the consent agenda, the council did approve the Professional Services Agreement between Croy Engineering, LLC and the city for Smyrna’s 2011 SPLOST program management. This did not sit well with citizen Mary Kirkendoll, who voiced her disappointment during the citizen input portion of the meeting.
“Where’s the uproar of the $43 million SPLOST,’’ Kirkendoll said. “The 2005 SPLOST check registry…should be available on the city’s website for everyone to see where our money is being wasted. Croy Engineering received $1.2 million to manage the 2005 SPLOST project. Each check written must be approved by Croy Engineering.
“An additional approximately $17 million in checks were written to Croy Engineering on various projects in the SPLOST. Eighteen million out of 43 to Croy Engineering is almost half of the SPLOST funds. All citizens should demand to know why their contract as program manager was renewed again tonight.”