Staff photo by Cole Dittmer
Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo takes his oath of office from Judge James H. Faison III, far right, in City Hall Council Chambers on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
Following the election of Wilmington incumbents Mayor Bill Saffo and Councilmen Kevin O’Grady, Earl Sheridan and Charlie Rivenbark in November’s general election, all four took their oaths of office at council’s Tuesday, Dec. 3 meeting.
City Hall Council Chambers was filled with friends and family members of the reelected, and a family member joined each candidate while taking the oath.
After being sworn in, Saffo said he is proud to be one of the people who can bring about progress in his hometown and plans to continue to do so in his fourth term.
“It is a good feeling when you are the mayor of your hometown and you are actually seeing things get done,” Saffo said. “What I have learned about city government as opposed to any other government is it is the government closest to the people, it is the government you can touch and call. We have to get things done; we don’t have the luxury of debating and then giving opinions.”
Saffo said he was glad to see the same team together.
“We have had a good group here and to have the continuity for four years we are going to get a lot of things done,” he said. “I think we can be very productive; I think we are all very focused and up to speed on all of the issues, know the dynamics of the city and understand our relationships with our state legislature.”
On their way to the reception following the swearing-in ceremony, O’Grady and Councilwoman Margaret Haynes both echoed Saffo’s opinion about the state of city council.
“I think it is bound to be a message of some sort that we are headed in the right direction,” Haynes said. “We are a pretty educated, collegial group and we are willing to listen to each other and try to mesh together our ideas to move the city forward in a positive way.”
During the ceremony Haynes was nominated by Councilwoman Laura Padgett to be the new Wilmington Mayor Pro Tem, the position Sheridan has held for the past two years. Haynes was appointed to the two-year position unanimously and she expressed her gratitude for the honor and for Sheridan’s service in the position.
The next election for Wilmington City Council will be in two years, when Haynes, Padgett and Councilman Neal Anderson’s terms expire.