The city of Hinesville held an inauguration ceremony Thursday for its newly re-elected officials, including five city council members and mayor. City Manager Billy Edwards served as host for the event while Probate Judge Nancy K. Aspinwall administered the oath of office to the officials.
Friends, family members and special guests, including Fort Stewart Garrison Commander Col. Kevin Milton and his wife, Christi, gathered in Hinesville City Hall’s council chamber for the oath of office ceremony and to hear comments by each of the council members and the mayor. After the ceremony and special remarks, most guests then went upstairs for a reception in the Hinesville Room.
Each council member spoke for about three minutes, all thanking their constituents for re-electing them. District 1 Councilman Charles Frasier said he was proud to have been born and raised in Hinesville and to be able to serve the people in his community. District 2 Councilman Jason Floyd drew laughter when said he was grateful to have been re-elected and especially to have been able to run unopposed. Calling himself a fiscal conservative, Floyd promised he would always vote according to his conscience.
District 3 Councilman David Anderson Sr. kept the guests rolling in laughter as he related experiences during his three previous terms as city councilman.
“I got a call one Saturday,” Anderson began, giving background information about watching a football game. “I was watching LSU beat up on Auburn. I got this call from a guy asking me if I picked up dead dogs. I told him, ‘Yes, sir. Tell me where the dog is and I’ll report it.’ He said the dog was in front on his house and stinking to high heaven. I told him, “No, sir. You don’t understand. What address? What street is the dog located on?’”
Anderson chuckled as he explained how the caller attempted to spell the name of the street but couldn’t, so he told Anderson he’d call back. About 30 minutes later, Anderson said, the man called back and told him they could now find the dog on a different street, but this street had a name he could spell.
District 4 Councilman Keith Jenkins began his comments, agreeing with Anderson that, as a city councilman, he has taken some strange phone calls.
“I’m not a politician,” he told guests. “I’m just a normal, everyday man. My job, though, is to fight for the people.”
District 5 Councilman Kenneth Shaw said he was only able to get through the recent reelection by remembering his life verse, Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” He ended his comments by quoting 1 Peter 4:11.
Mayor Jim Thomas Jr. began by thanking all those who had supported him in his re-election bid, especially his wife, whom he called “Miss Claudia.” Without her standing by him throughout their long marriage, he said, he could not have accomplished anything. When he said this, several “amens” from attending guests caused the mayor to laugh and lose his train of thought for just a moment. He quickly gathered his composure and continued, saying twice that Hinesville is a very important area in the state of Georgia.
“Many people in Southwest Georgia and middle Georgia have been suffering (during these hard economic times),” he explained. “We have been really blessed here in Hinesville.”
Thomas repeated his special thanks to the city’s administrative staff, city council members and those who supported him then he asked for their help and guidance in making Hinesville what it “should be.”
He concluded his remarks by quoting President Thomas Jefferson, saying “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”
All of Hinesville’s elected officials secured additional terms during the Nov. 8 election.