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Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

New council takes city's reins

Friday, December 10, 2010

(Photo)
Returning city councilman Thomas Landers, left, took the oath of office, along with new members Jamie Williams and Sam Meek, with Circuit Court Judge Lee Russell administering the oath.
(T-G Photo by Brian Mosely) [Order this photo]
New Shelbyville council members took their seats last night after being sworn in for their four-year terms.

And everyone agreed that they had a lot of hard work ahead of them.

Outgoing councilman Al Stephenson thanked the citizens of Shelbyville for allowing him to serve three and a half years on the city council.

"I really appreciate it and I hope I've satisfied a lot of you people," he said. "To the mayor and city council -- all the luck in the world, I hope everything goes fine."

Lee Roy Cunningham also thanked the public and praised incoming councilman Jamie Williams, "who's been trying to get this seat on the council for a long time.

"He's worked hard to get up here, you work with him," Cunningham said.

Mayor Wallace Cartwright thanked the public for his reelection last month, saying that the city "has had our ups and downs" and he hoped that the next four years would be better than the previous three and a half years, pointing out problems the city has had to face such as a collapsed underground flume and condemned buildings near the square.

"We've had everything in the world that happened during this last term .... we have lawsuits and we still have them, but I think that things are going to be better this coming term," he said.

He encouraged citizens to contact council members and city manager Michael Dill with any concerns, and joked "stay off my back," which brought laughter from the council and audience.

Sam Meek, who won Stephenson's seat, said he was appreciative of the process and thanked the council and city officials who made him feel welcome, and for the citizens who made it possible.

Jamie Williams thanked all the citizens who supported his run for the council seat and to Cunningham for his service to the community.

"It's a lot of hard work up here, there's a lot to do and we should give credit for what these two guys have done," Williams said, also thanking the council for making the transition smooth.

"We have some tough decisions to make over the next few weeks, but we can make the right choices and go forward."

Returning member Thomas Landers gave his thanks to those who reelected him, telling the crowd that "this job is not easy at all.

"When I was appointed, I wondered what do they do, and now I wonder what you do when you're not doing this ... this is nearly a full-time job."

Acknowledging that the council has made mistakes in the past, he said they were working with the information that was presented to them and he urged the public to voice their opinions.

"That's the only way we know, don't sit back and wait for someone else to do it," he said.