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New mayor to build on Ratcliffe legacy
Jim Thomas, council sworn in
Mayor Jim Thomas
Mayor Jim Thomas inaugurated a new era in Hinesville on Saturday during his formal swear-in ceremony, pledging “to continue to build on that foundation” established by predecessor Tom Ratcliffe and calling on the citizens to help with the city’s unprecedented growth.
Thomas thanked supporters and pledged to be accessible and responsive to the citizens of Hinesville.
“We will never forget that it is you who elected us. We will never forget that it is you who we serve,” he said.
In his speech, Thomas quoted Thomas Jefferson: “ The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”
The new mayor said he would be working closely with city officials and departments heads and thanked Ratcliffe and the outgoing councilmen.
Recipients of the thank-yous extended included Fort Stewart, represented by Sarah Lynch, wife of 3rd ID commander Maj. Gen Rick Lynch, and Paul Andreshak, deputy garrison commander.
Thomas thanked his church family and also what he called his medical family: Dr. Seth Borquay, chief of the medical staff at Liberty Regional Medical Center, and Scott Kroell, CEO of LRMC.
The mayor identified as a special friend state Rep. Al Williams of Midway and singled out Harry Rubin, Clay Sikes and Paul Krebs for special mention, along with his campaign committee.
Among guests recognized were Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson and state Sen. Regina Thomas.
Thomas also thanked the local Hispanic and Korean associations and “all my Indian and Asian friends.”
The former Army officer and civil servant said, “Hinesville is no longer the small place I came to in 1976,” but added that it still has and can retain the charm and friendliness that prompted him to retire here.
Thomas was sworn in by another retired military man, Col. Kenneth Pangburn, a former military judge who is now an associate on the juvenile court bench.
The five members of city council were sworn in by Liberty County Probate Judge Nancy Aspinwall who describes that duty for new officials as the most important one of her position.
Re-elected councilmen were Charles Frasier, Mayor Pro Tempore David Anderson and Kenny Shaw, all veteran officials. Newcomers to politics Keith Jenkins and Bobby Ryon were elected to the city panel in November.
The council’s first official meeting will be Thursday.
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