Yesterday I was sworn-in to a full term on Lamar Town Council. I was elected earlier this year in a special election, so this was my second swearing-in ceremony. Now, however, I’m in for a full four years.
My colleague on Council, Councilwoman Mary Ann Mack, was also sworn-in to her first full term after being elected last July. Our new mayor, Mayor James Howell, was sworn-in, too, marking the start of his administration.
The ceremony was short and sweet. We gathered on the front lawn of Town Hall at 5 PM. The judge ran each of us through the oath of office, starting with the new mayor and wrapping up with myself. There was a nice Christmas tree on the lawn, and lots of family, friends, and city employees were in attendance. Mayor Howell brought out the biggest crowd, with Councilwoman Mack bringing a few family members. I arrived solo, and had to take my oath on the Bible the local Methodist minister brought for her short invocation (apparently, I missed the memo to bring my own Bible—d’oh!).
Mayor Howell is a professional landscaper who lives down the street from me, which I suppose means our little lane is one of the most well-represented sections of Lamar. As I’ve learned, there’s a lot to learn to serve a small town, but I think Mayor Howell will learn quickly.
Councilwoman Mack has been doing some stellar work on the American Rescue Plan, from which Lamar is receiving some much-needed funds. We desperately need to repair our water system, and those funds will at least start us down that path. We’ve got around $463,000 coming our way, which sounds like a lot, but it will go quickly.
That’s perhaps the most sobering aspect of this new term: we’ve been given an unprecedented opportunity with these funds, and it’s an awesome responsibility. That money needs to be disbursed with maximum efficiency and thoughtfulness.
Regardless, I’m looking forward to continuing to serve Lamar. Please keep Lamar, its Town Council, and yours portly in your prayers.