Elected officials take oaths of office

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 2, 2008

More than 50 officials and members of the public gathered in thecircuit court courtroom Thursday to witness the official swearingin of Lincoln County’s newly elected officials.

“The United States is the greatest nation the world has everknown,” said Chancery Judge Edward E. Patten, Jr. in his openingremarks. “That greatness is predicated on the ability of the peopleto elect public officials.”

Patten next directed his remarks to the officials.

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“As public servants, we must commit ourselves to excellence,” hesaid. “There’s a distinction between excellence and perfection.Perfection is the end product; excellence is the process to achieveit.”

The judge also advised the elected officials to always seek endresults that were not just correct, but right.

“For far too long, right and wrong have become subject tointerpretation,” Patten said. “As public officials, we must commitourselves to character. We must always seek to do the right thing,no matter the cost to ourselves.”

Patten finished his introduction by reminding the electedofficials that America is a Christian nation, and urged them toremember the Christian values. To make his point, he quoted Alexisde Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” published between in 1835and 1840 in two volumes.

“Not until I went into the churches of America and heard herpulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of hergenius and power,” the judge quoted. “America is great because sheis good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease tobe great.”

The Rev. Jerry Durr of Brookhaven Outreach Ministries deliveredthe invocation, and the following elected officials were swornin:

* Supervisors:

* District One – The Rev. Jerry Wilson

* District Two – Bobby J. Watts

* District Three – Nolan Earl Williamson

* District Four – Doug Moak

* District Five – Gary Walker

* District Three Election Commissioner James Bennon Case

* Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop

* Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins

* Superintendent of Education Terry Brister

* County Surveyor Joe Byrd

* Tax Assessor-Collector Nancy Jordan

* Justice Court Judges:

* Post One – Ralph Boone

* Post Two – Ann Reeves

* Constables:

* Post One – Kelly Porter

* Post Two – W. Lavon Boyd

* District Attorney – Dee Bates