Brother swears in new Locust Grove councilman

Newly elected Locust Grove City Councilman Sammy Brown has been sworn in into office by his brother, Henry County Juvenile Judge James P. Brown, Jr.

The swearing-in came during the Locust Grove City Council's monthly workshop on Nov. 21.

Councilman Brown won a special election on Nov. 8, to fill the unexpired term of former councilman Robert Price, who resigned, and ran a successful campaign for mayor. Price will replace long-time mayor Lorene Lindsey, who decided not to seek re-election.

Brown, 62, is a lifelong Locust Grove resident, and a U.S. Navy veteran. He retired after 30 years with the Georgia Forestry Commission, and was the local forest ranger.

"I was scared to death, during the swearing-in ceremony," he said. "I am not used to being in the spotlight. It made me feel good that my brother swore me in, on our daddy's Bible."

The Bible was given to his father, James P. Brown, Sr., he said, by his grandmother, Kate Brown, on his father's 65th birthday. His wife, Claire, held the Bible during the ceremony.

The couple has been married for 26 years. They were flanked by family members, including their two children, Sarah Brown, 23, and Zeb Brown, 29, along his wife, Tara Brown, and their son Carter, 4 months old. Carter is the councilman's first grandchild.

"It was a good feeling to have my family there," said Councilman Brown.

"It's was kind of emotional ..,." added Claire Brown. She said her husband has been retired for a few years, and now has time to serve. "He knew all of the city councilmembers before he ran," she said. "He grew up with Otis Hammock, and has known Sam Rosser, Billy Carter and Robert Price for a long time."

Following the ceremony, Councilman Brown sat in on his first council meeting. He heard various reports from department heads, and discussions on how to regulate precious metal dealers and pawn shops. Brown said he found the discussion on Sunday alcohol sales intriguing.

"My first meeting was interesting," he said, "I enjoyed it, and every once and a while, I was able to put my two cents in. We will be voting on the times for the Sunday alcohol sales. Back in the old days, you could go and buy it from a bootlegger. The stuff's already in the grocery store. It's just one of those laws that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It doesn't matter to me, because I am a social drinker."