The eight members of the 2021-22 Georgetown City Council, including newly elected members Willow Hambrick and Greg Hampton, were sworn in during a virtual ceremony Sunday afternoon.
State law requires new council members be sworn in before midnight Dec. 31, but due to pandemic restrictions this year’s 15-minute ceremony was held via Zoom and broadcast on the city’s YouTube channel. Their term begins Jan. 1, 2021.
Mayor Tom Prather, who conducted the ceremony, congratulated the council and noted the challenges it faces.
“This council is 50 percent women and 50 percent men, and I think that balance has served us well in the past,” Prather said. “I’m proud that we have maintained that gender balance today.
“I also think it is important as we face the challenges that exist for us today that we seat two brand new members, we seat two ’newish’ members (Tammy Lusby Mitchell and Todd Stone, each elected to their second terms), we seat four more veteran members who have a longer perspective (David Lusby, Karen Tingle-Sames, Mark Showalter and Connie Tackett) and four council members will have a very fresh, new perspective. I think all of those voices and perspectives are going to be important to us as we work through the issues that face our community.”
The mayor reminded the council that 2020 began with the city facing significant financial challenges.
“The thing I would ask you to keep in mind as we begin this season of reflection and great expectations for what is coming in the future, is to remember we started this calendar year in January by discussing some real financial hardships that the city has,” the mayor said. “We presented an analysis to support that to the council and I can tell you during this period of time, things have only gotten a little bit worse.
“So, we do have challenges before us in terms of our first responders, our city operations and the way we fund the number of first responders that we have so we can keep that most fundamental promise we make our citizens to make sure they are safe in the places where they live, work, worship and play. So, with that caution, I congratulate each of you and I look forward to working with each and every one of you.
“When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, you will be members of the Georgetown City Council.”
Hambrick thanked the mayor and said, “Thank you so much, I look forward to working and serving with all of you.”
“Same here,” he said. “I look forward to working with everybody and learning a lot.”
Mike Scogin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.