SALEMBURG — An era came to an end Thursday night, as Bobby Strickland took his last official act as mayor, swearing in three commissioners and newly elected mayor Joe Warren.
Strickland has served the town of Salemburg as mayor for the last 34 years.
Current commissioners Shirley Cooper and Bobby Tew, along with newly elected commissioner Mac Honeycutt, were sworn in by Strickland before the town’s regular board meeting. Strickland then handed over the reins to Warren, who has served the town as a commissioner and mayor pro tem for the past decade.
“This is your last act of duty,” Warren said as Strickland finished administering the oath of office. “My first act of duty as mayor is to present you and Mrs. Pauline with a gift.”
After presenting the former first family of Salemburg with a wood swing, Warren only had more words of thanks to offer Strickland and his family.
“You have always been there for me and I hope I can be there for you,” Warren said.
Before taking a seat in the audience, Strickland had kind words to share with his fellow Board members and the town’s citizens.
“I want to thank the citizens of the town of Salemburg for allowing me to serve you for 34 years,” Strickland said. “This has truly been the highlight of my life.”
Strickland doesn’t want to take all the credit for the success of the town.
“I don’t take all the credit of my success,” Strickland shared. “I have had the support of many and 100 percent support from the community, employees and my family. They have made Salemburg a desirable small town.”
As Strickland took his seat, the crowd arose to their feet, applauding him for the job he has done.
With Warren taking over as mayor, that left his seat on the Board of Commissioners vacant. Warren’s first act as mayor was recommending the board appoint Tommy Jackson to the vacant seat. Jackson was the fourth highest vote-getter in the recent election, narrowly missing out the third commissioner’s spot by one vote.
Commissioner Dickie Walters made the motion to appoint Jackson, while it was seconded by Honeycutt. Jackson will finish out Warren’s term, set to expire in 2017.
For the first time in more than a decade, there is another mayor pro tem on the board. Cooper nominated Tew as the new mayor pro tem, a vote that unanimously passed.
Before the close of the meeting, Warren appointed commissioners to serve on the various committees of the town.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.