>Bessemer – Day 1

>This morning the new school board, city council and mayor were sworn in.

I sat with Judge Helen Shores Lee who is on the ballot tomorrow (one of my recommendations) and we had a good conversation about tomorrow’s election in Jefferson County and the country, and about the supposed lack of enthusiasm among Democratic voters. She’s not sure that lack of enthusiasm is real.

I spoke with Senator Priscilla Dunn who confirmed that she received an envelope full of letters regarding anti-bullying policy. Our efforts paid off.

I spoke with Judge Annetta Verin, and wished her well tomorrow. She administered the oath to all of the School board member (and twice to one of them) as well as to one of the council members.

School Board member Renna Scott neglected to say the word “solemnly” during the part of the oath where you “swear” or “affirm.” Judge Verin was not going to let a simple omission turn into a future problem, and remembering the inauguration of President Obama, she suggested a re-do.

Here is Councilman David Vance being sworn in.


Here is Councilwoman Sherrina Rice being sworn in.


Here is Councilwoman Sarah Belcher being sworn in.


Here is Councilwoman Donna Thigpen being sworn in.


Here is Councilman Ron Marshall being sworn in.


Here is Councilman Jesse Matthews being sworn in.


Here is Councilman Cleo King being sworn in.


Here is Mayor Ken Gulley being sworn in. That is his mother and his wife Yvonne standing with him as Judge Eric Fancher administers the oath of office.


Mayor Gulley gave a positive and inspiring address.


In his address he said, “I pledge to do all that I can” to move the city forward and asked the citizens of Bessemer to partner with him.

“A government that works,” is one of his objectives, and he wants to “tear down walls that divide us and build bridges to unite us.”

The crowd stood and applauded several times during the ceremony, but the biggest applause was when it was official.

No one was happier, it seemed, than Cleo King, council member from my district.


Well, other than a throng of city workers, who were the first to stand and applaud when the new mayor was sworn in.

And business owners.

And developers.

And ordinary citizens.

Over the last few weeks it seems that former mayor Ed May (that feels good…to write that) has tried to solidify his imprint on the city with some appointments and such. We will see how those things hold out.

But for now, Gulley has said (after his election) that getting the city finances in order are a priority. Let’s hope the council agrees. And let’s watch for some early signs of new Bessemer businesses.

Hold on, folks. Bessemer is on the move.

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