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|Officials take office Tuesday; appointments made in Ferriday|
Elected municipal officials in Ferriday, Vidalia and Clayton took their oaths of office Tuesday in a series of ceremonies that spanned much of the day.
Ferriday's program began at 8:30 a.m. with a theme of togetherness.
Glen McGlothin was sworn in as mayor -- his fourth term -- by Clerk of Court Clyde Ray Webber, who also administered oaths to incumbents Jerome Harris, Johnnie Brown, Gloria Lloyd and newcomers Somer Lance and Elijah Banks.
McGlothin announced that Kenneth Hedrick is the police chief, Joe Sontoyo is fire chief and Herman Smith is assistant chief.
Anna Ferguson is the town attorney.
Gayle Cowan was named town clerk, Larry Gordon is supervisor over maintenance of water and sewer lines, Gregory Griggs will continue to administer the water department, and Antoine Duncan will be street superintendent. Tommy Stevens and William McKeel will assist in the sewer departments.
"We're not going to jump out of a box and change everything," McGlothin said. "If people talk bad and negative about Ferriday, then it will continue to be bad and negative. I'm not going to agree with this board all the time, and the board's not going to agree with me all the time. But that's a good thing. We're all going to work together for Ferriday. I know everyone on here and we're going to work together for the town.
"We're not going to stop writing tickets, that was not the purpose of my running," McGlothin said. "But it will be the attitude and the way people are treated. People are still going to speed and break the laws."
Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland and Natchez Mayor-elect Jake Middleton were part of the large crowd sandwiched into Ferriday Town Hall's meeting room.
A new beginning was the theme at Clayton City Hall at 10 a.m. as Rydell Turner begins his first term as mayor.
Turner was sworn in by Judge Kathy Johnson.
"I thank the board and I thank everyone and just ask that we all get on the same page," Turner said. "I walked around Clayton asking God for His will be done and I know we can move forward."
Alderman sworn in were Floyd L. Barber, Cary Ray Thompson, Irene Jefferson, Willie Evans and Sandy Clayton.
Clarence Skipper was sworn as police chief.
Vidalia officials took their oaths at 2 p.m. at the Vidalia Conference & Convention Center. Judge George Murray administered the oaths of office to Copeland, who is beginning his fourth term, and the Board of Aldermen, which includes Tron McCoy, Vernon Stevens, Ricky Knapp, Jon Betts and Maureen Saunders, all incumbents.
Also taking the oath was Ronnie "Tapper" Hendricks, the new police chief.
Hendricks told the late police chief Delane Thornhill he wanted to be chief one day.
"And here I am," said Hendricks. "It's been an emotional day."
He vowed to work hard for Vidalia and to protect and serve.
"This is a blessing and a great day today," said Copeland, who wiped away tears at one point.
"I've been hearing a common word today," he said, after attending ceremonies in Ferriday and Natchez. "The word I'm hearing is 'unity' between our communities. It's not Ferriday, it's not Vidalia, it's not Natchez -- it is the Miss-Lou area."
He expressed his appreciation to city employees and the people of Vidalia.
"I was first elected as an alderman in 1976 and I've been asked why did I run," he said, "It's been because I felt like I could make a difference. We're living in best times of these communities that I've ever seen. We have a lot to look forward to."
Copeland cited advice given by the late Mayor Sidney A. Murray Jr.: "Do not accept the word 'no' or believe that it cannot be done. I feel that's the spirit of these communities. I'm excited at what the future holds."
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