Tuesday, January 7, 2014
© Copyright 2014
Clayton News Daily
Ward 1 Councilman Tommy Smith takes the oath of office from Morrow attorney Ashley Baker Brannen Osby as his granddaughter, Victoria Lee Smith, 5, holds the Bible and his wife, Trudy Smith, watches. (Staff Photo: Kathy Jefcoats)
FOREST PARK — Dozens packed into Forest Park City Hall council chambers Monday night to witness the swearing-in of the mayor and two councilmen.
The traditional ceremonies were greeted with cheers and applause.
David Lockhart and Tommy Smith — both of whom took the oath for the first time less than a year ago — allowed newcomer Ward 2 Councilman Dabouze Antoine to take the oath first Monday.
Clayton County Juvenile Court Chief Judge Steven Teske administered the oath to Antoine. Antoine won the ward seat in a Dec. 5 runoff election. It is the first time since July 2011 that Ward 2 has had representation, since former Councilwoman Karen-Brandee Williams was ousted from office. Ongoing court battles between Williams and the city kept officials from being able to fill the vacancy until the term expired on its own.
Antoine thanked his supporters and pledged to do his best for Forest Park. It is his first elected office.
Lockhart and Smith took office last spring during special elections, but both terms expired Dec. 31 so they had to run again in the fall. Lockhart won the seat vacated at the end of 2012 by former Mayor Corine Deyton, who retired from office because of health reasons. Ward 1 Councilwoman Sparkle Adams resigned her post to also run for mayor, leaving that seat open.
Smith won that seat — defeating opponent Kimberly James by 15 votes in April and by two votes in December. He took the oath as administered by one of his cousins, Morrow attorney Ashley Baker Brannen Osby. His granddaughter, Victoria Lee Smith, 5, held the Bible and his wife, Trudy Smith, stood by his side.
Lockhart’s wife, Grace Lockhart, and their four children accompanied him as he took the oath administered by Forest Park Municipal Court Judge Allyson Pitts.
Council members Linda Lord, Maudie McCord and Latresa Akins will come up for re-election next year.