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Pembroke mayor, council sworn in before meeting
Pembroke council 2020 sworn in
The Pembroke City Council is sworn in. Photo by Jeff Whitten.

Before Pembroke’s city council could start Monday’s regular scheduled meeting, there was some ceremony to attend to.

The entire council and mayor had to take their oaths of office. Bryan County Magistrate Judge Billy Reynolds did the honors, swearing in the five council members and Mayor Judy Cook, the longest serving mayor in the city’s history.

All six had been re-elected to their seats in November. Only two, Cook and District 4 councilwoman Tiffany Walraven, faced opposition. Both won handily.

Mayor Pro Tem Johnny Miller, who has served on council since 1992 and represents District 1, ran unopposed. So did councilwomen Diane Moore, D-3, and Karen Lynn, D-2. And, so did Councilmember-at – Large Ernest Hamilton.

Of the council members, only Lynn has less than a decade on council. A schoolteacher and coach, she was first elected in 2015. Moore, a former 4-H teacher, was elected in a special election in 2009 and has been sent back by voters every four years since then.

McCoy, a local businesswoman who has been highly visible in downtown revitalization efforts and was recently named one of the Georgia Municipal Association’s “20 under 40” rising leaders, has been on council since 2008.

Cook, meanwhile, is entering her fifth term as mayor and one that she says will likely be her last. The first woman to be elected mayor in Pembroke – that was in 2000 – she started working for the city in 1972 as a clerk and eventually became city clerk before retiring.

After the swearing in, council voted on a number of appointments, few of them involving new face. For starters, Ricky McCoy is back as project manager, Alex Floyd’s contract as city administrator was renewed and Sharroll Fanslau was reappointed as city clerk. Dana Braun was reappointed as city attorney.

Public Safety Director Bill Collins was reappointed as police chief.

First Bank of Coastal Georgia was named the city’s repository, while Ameris Bank was secondary repository.

There were various other items taken care of include, the adoption of a pay scale for city employees that will result in merit-based raises, a resolution moving forward the city’s effort to build affordable housing and a proclamation in honor of Arbor Day, which will be held on Feb. 18.

Gave Ghost Coast Landscaping the contract to maintain Northside Cemetery for $14,496. The company already won the contract to landscape downtown and city hall.

Collins honored a pair of Pembroke Police Department officers. Norman Harvey received a plaque for exemplary service. William Kicklighter was named PPD’s Officer of the Year.

The city also met in executive session for real estate. No action was taken afterwards.

Finally, Cook and other city leaders will attend a North Bryan Chamber lunch on Thursday at Lucy Belle Farms, where Cook will give the state of the city address. The event begins at noon.

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