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City officials pledge to serve

A crowd of about 70 gathered in the circuit courtroom at the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Government Complex Friday morning to see the city’s newly elected officials take the oath of office.

The Rev. Dale Linton began the ceremony with a prayer.

“Lord we pray that you will lead them and they will follow you,” Linton said.

Dist. 14 circuit judges Michael Taylor and David Strong alternated in swearing each official into his or her prospective office.

“It’s better to be swearing in than to be sworn at,” Judge Taylor joked before beginning the proceedings.

One by one, each elected official stepped up to swear their allegiance to the United States Constitution, the Mississippi Constitution and the city of Brookhaven.

Mayor-elect Joe Cox was first to step forward to take the oath. Cox will be replacing retiring Mayor Les Bumgarner, who was in attendance at Friday’s ceremony.

Police Chief-elect Bobby Bell, replacing retiring Aulustra “Pap” Henderson, who was also in attendance, was next to take the oath.

Following Bell, City Clerk Michael Jinks renewed his oath of office.

Ward One Alderman-elect Randy Belcher and Ward Five Alderman-elect Fletcher Grice, both first-time office holders, followed Jinks in taking their oaths of office.

Returning aldermen were next to take the oath. Ward Two Alderman Terry Bates, Ward Three Alderman Mary Wilson, Ward Four Alderman Shirley Estes, Alderman-at-Large Karen Sullivan and Ward Six Alderman David Phillips all placed their left hands on the Bible and raised their right hands to repeat their sworn declarations to serve for another four years in office.

After all officials had taken the oath, Judge Strong addressed the audience.

“These ceremonies are important because oaths are important,” he said. “It’s what you exchange for the power that constitutional laws give you. You have no power outside that oath. ”

“We have a talented group here, but they have a lot of challenges to face,” Strong continued, directly addressing the officials.

“What you will have the opportunity to do every day is humbly serve the people who put you here.”