ROSWELL, Ga. — The city’s first official City Council meeting of the year started off with revelry and spirit as a new mayor and four new council members were officially sworn in.
After the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Choir serenaded attendees with gospel music, Lori Henry officially took up her post as the city’s first new mayor in almost 20 years.
Sean Groer followed suit as the new Post 3 council member, along with Marie Willsey for Post 4, Matthew Tyser for Post 5 and Matt Judy for Post 6.
Outgoing mayor Jere Wood and outgoing council members Jerry Orlans and Nancy Diamond were all awarded a key to the city for their service over the years.
Only one item was on the agenda Monday night: the election of the new mayor pro tem for 2018.
Judy motioned for Willsey to take up the position, with Groer seconding.
Councilman Michael Palermo, however, disagreed with the nomination, citing Willsey’s inexperience as a council member. Councilman Marcelo Zapata agreed and stated that he had not heard from other council members about the nomination before the meeting. He in turn nominated Palermo as mayor pro tem.
When asked about her experience, Willsey stated that she has been attending council meetings regularly for five years and has presided over numerous homeowner’s association meetings and board meetings.
By a vote of 4-2, with Palermo and Zapata dissenting, Willsey was elected mayor pro tem.