From a Bible verse to a gold-painted washing machine agitator, the swearing in of the new mayor and members of the Smithfield Town Council Tuesday night includes lots of laughs and some tears.
The highlight of the evening came after outgoing Mayor John Lampe presented gag gifts to the new mayor and members of the town council.
Moore Sworn In As Mayor
Newly elected Mayor Andy Moore was joined by his family as Superior Court Judge Thomas H. Lock administered the Oath. Moore replaced Mayor John Lampe who did not seek re-election after serving one term.
Moore said he looked forward to serving as Smithfield mayor. “This town means a lot to me. I want to see it prosper.” Just prior to receiving his Oath, Moore said his wife handed him a note with scripture from Romans 12:6-7.
We have different gifts based on the grace that was given to us. So if your gift is prophecy, use your gift in proportion to your faith. If your gift is serving, devote yourself to serving others. If it is teaching, devote yourself to teaching others.
Mayor Moore promised to serve and govern diligently. He said one his favorite sayings was “Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.”
Councilmen Take Oaths, Ashley Appointed Mayor Pro-Tem
Councilman Emery Ashley was sworn to his second term by retired District Court Judge T. Yates Dobson Jr.
Ashley thanks the citizens of Smithfield for their support and the opportunity to serve. Ashley said he did not consider himself to be a politician.
During his new four year term, Ashley promised to carry Smithfield forward. Later in the meeting, Ashley was unanimously elected as Mayor Pro Tem for a 2-year term.
Newly elected councilman John A. Dunn received his oath from Superior Court Judge Thomas H. Lock.
Steve Rabil, who was elected to his first term, after narrowly defeating incumbent Charles Williams on Nov. 3rd, received his oath from retired District Court Judge T. Yates Dobson Jr.
Outgoing Officials Honored
After the oaths of office were given to the newly elected officials, outgoing Councilman Williams and Mayor Lampe both received plaques thanking them for their service to the Town of Smithfield.
Williams said he was honored to have served 4 years on the town board. He said he regretted the outcome of the Nov. 3rd elections but said the newly elected councilman should take the torch and move the town forward. Williams said his goal had been to make Smithfield a stronger and better place to live. “May God Bless Smithfield.”
Mayor Lampe took his time to present members of the town council and Mayor Moore light-hearted gifts.
Mayor Moore received a jar of candy, Councilman Travis Scott a poster and book, Councilman Roger Wood a framed poster of Mike Tyson, Councilman Williams a book on “How To Sharpen Pencils” saying that could be his new hobby. Mayor Pro-Tem Ashley was given a book on big government.
Golden Agitator Award
Laughter filled the council chambers when Mayor Lampe presented Councilman Perry Harris the Golden Agitator Award. The plaque was for “agitating everyone for his beliefs” Mayor Lampe said, and was signed by 3 mayors: Mayors Lampe, Mayor Moore, and Mayor Daniel Evans.
The plaque included a real agitator removed from a Whirlpool washing machine that had been painted gold and affixed to the plaque.
Lampe said local politics can be a lot of fun and it doesn’t always have to be about fighting. Lampe said he tried to govern by taking the lighter approach. “This has been one of the best experiences in my life.”
Lampe received a standing ovation as the ceremony ended.