Midway Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington and Mayor Pro Tempore Levern Clancy Jr. officially exchanged jobs Friday. Washington moved into a council seat along with new Councilmen Henry Stevens and T. Gerald Lee; incumbent Councilwoman Melice Gerace was reelected.
Councilman Curtes Roberts did not run for re-election and Councilman Stanley Brown lost his seat in Midway’s at large, no-posts election system in which each candidate competes against all the others. Barry Wilkes, retired clerk of courts, presided over Friday’s ceremony and Probate Judge Nancy Aspinwall administered the oaths of office. State Rep. Al Williams spoke and highlighted some areas he will work on during the General Assembly session this month. Rural development is one important topic, he said.
“Maybe the next swearing-in will hopefully be in the new city hall,” Williams said. Midway has no city hall now but construction is under way on a new one. Acting as mayor for the first time, Clancy presented a souvenir gavel to Washington in recognition of her eight years as the city’s chief executive and saying he was addressing a rumor, “I have to tell you, mayor, after Dec. 31 (the official end of terms) that gavel is no good.” Washington in turn gave Clancy a gavel for him to use during his own mayoral term.
“Use this gavel wisely,” she said, “people are going to talk. If you do good, they’re going to talk. If you do bad, they’re going to talk. Don’t worry about that — serve others, not yourself.” Clancy, a 12-year veteran council member, said, “It’s time to go to work.” The new mayor is employed in the jail division of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department. The new Midway council is expected to meet Monday and could choose a new mayor pro tempore then.