Headlines News

Swearing in

Nearly 100 attend installation

Following the meeting, City Clerk Becca Smith, at left, completes paperwork with Shawn Lassiter, newly appointed mayor pro tem, and Eunice Johnson. At right is Mayor Jim Staff.

News Staff Writer

Although there were only three new faces added, Atmore’s “new” city government was formally installed during a special meeting held Monday, November 2, in the city hall auditorium.
Incumbent elected officials, including the city’s mayor and three council members, were sworn for another term. Freshman council members Eunice Johnson and Shawn Lassiter took the oath of office for the first time, as did recently appointed Atmore Municipal Court Judge Karean Reynolds, who was sworn in by Escambia County District Judge Eric Coale.
All the others were administered the oath by Escambia County Circuit Judge Todd Stearns, who had been the city’s municipal court judge prior to being appointed to fill the circuit clerk vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Dave Jordan.
The first order of business was the swearing in of the mayor and council. Staff was accompanied by his wife, Myrtle; District 1’s Webb Nall was joined by his wife, Frances; Jerome Webster (District 2) took his oath with his wife, Yolanda, at his side; Johnson, the new District 3 rep, stood by husband Charles as she took the oath; Hope Lassiter held the Bible as her husband Shawn, the new District 4 councilman, was sworn in; and District 5’s Chris Harrison’s hand was on a Bible held by his wife, Courtney.
The council then took care of several housekeeping issues before officially appointing Reynolds to the municipal court bench, and re-appointing Municipal Prosecutor Joe Whitt, Public Defender Gordon Godwin, City Clerk Becca Smith, Police Chief Chuck Brooks and Fire Chief Ron Peebles.
Each was then administered his or her oath of office. Reynolds was joined by wife Sherilyn; Gordon held the Bible for Whitt, who then returned the favor; Judge Coale stood by Smith’s side as she took the oath for the eighth time, then Smith stood with Brooks. Darlene Peebles was at her husband’s side as he was sworn in.
Clarification: In an article published in the October 28 edition of Atmore News, it was reported that Smith was beginning her eighth four-year term as City Clerk. Actually, the position is an appointed one, and the person who holds that office does so at the pleasure of the council. Smith is starting her 29th year as city clerk.

News photo by Sherry Digmon