It was a special night for Council

Published 4:42 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It was a special family night at City Hall on Tuesday, as Mark Harrell said goodbye after 16 years on the City Council and the city’s newly-elected mayor and council members were sworn in to office.

Harrell presided over the City Council for the last time, finishing a four-year term as mayor along with 12 years prior to that as a council member. Harrell, who was elected to succeed the late longtime Mayor Bill K. Reynolds in 2005, began the meeting and temporarily adjourned it with his young daughter, Ella, sitting in his lap holding the mayor’s gavel.

With his wife, Lauren, standing beside him, Harrell was later honored with a gift from the Council and proclamations recognizing his service to Bainbridge, including one designating April 4-10, 2010, as a week honoring his public service.

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Decatur County Superior Court Chief Judge A. Wallace Cato administered the oath of public office to Edward Franklin Reynolds, who is one of the late Reynolds’ two sons. Reynolds’ wife, Tonya, and children joined him for the ceremony, while his mother, Sug Reynolds, looked on from the audience.

Judge Cato also administered the oath to returning Councilman Joe Sweet, who was re-elected last fall, and to new council members Glennie Bench and Phil Long, whose families also joined them for the ceremony.

Cato said he considered it “a pleasure” to swear in the new members of the Bainbridge City Council.

“Public service is a sacred calling,” Cato said. “Those of us in public office have a responsibility to represent the people. It’s a sacred trust that should never be violated.”

After Tuesday, the new City Council consists of: Mayor Edward Reynolds, Councilman Luther Conyers, Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer, Councilman Joe Sweet, Councilman Dean Burke, Councilwoman Glennie Bench and Councilman Phil Long.