Evans, Selma council take office

Published 10:32 pm Monday, November 3, 2008

George Evans is mayor of Selma.

He took the oath of office Monday night before a packed crowd in the Performing Arts Center with his family in a circle around him. Then, he thanked God, his family and the people who supported him in his run for the city’s highest elected office.

“Now we’re ready to take it to the next level,” he told the audience after taking the oath of office. “I look forward to making a difference in the city for the next four years.”

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Evans took his seat on the stage and watched as Cecil Williamson, Susan Keith, Dr. Monica Newton, Angela Benjamin, B.J. Tucker and Corey Bowie all took the oath of office and their seats surrounding him.

Three of the incoming council members did not attend the ceremony. They took their oaths of office earlier.

Councilman Sam Randolph was sworn in during an early morning ceremony on Friday at City Hall. Randolph, a member of the Alabama National Guard, had to go on a military mission and could not attend Monday’s event.

Council President Geraldine Allen was ill. Evans said she had taken the oath of office earlier in the day, but was advised by her physician not to attend the meeting.

Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw was sworn into office around noon at City Hall in the council chambers. Family, friends and supporters all packed the room to watch Crenshaw take a fourth term as Ward 7’s representative.

Crenshaw said she decided to take her oath at City Hall in council chambers because she had always done it on site. The council voted last week to change the swearing-in location to the Performing Arts Center, so more people could attend. Council chambers would not hold enough people, a majority of the council decided.

Of her decision, Crenshaw said, “It has nothing to do with anyone else. It’s about me.”

After taking the oath of office, Crenshaw spoke briefly to friends, supporters, relatives and fellow council members, promising to help move the city forward. She acknowledged her support during the mayor’s race for incumbent James Perkins Jr., because “I was on this journey with him,” Crenshaw said. At the same time, she promised to work with Evans and other council members.

“I want to work for anything that will move the city forward,” she said.