Craig Brooks, accompanied by his mother Yvonne Brooks, is sworn in as Harlem Councilman by mayor John Bentley.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Craig Brooks can come out from behind the curtain and be a visible member of the Harlem City Council.
Along with Mayor Pro-Tem Robin Root, Brooks was officially sworn in as the newest council member. He has worked with city officials on various projects since being elected in November.
Brooks, 28, will replace Gary Holley, who decided not to run for reelection. Root is beginning her third term as a council member. It is yet to be determined who will be Pro-Tem.
Brooks was heavily involved with the process of putting the new budget together and met with department heads to help himself get a running start.
"I've been able to get a handle on what's going on in other departments," Brooks said. "I am as prepared as I can be."
The difference for Brooks will be that now he can argue, suggest and vote from behind his newly created name plate.
"We're glad to have some new blood and to get going on the new year." Mayor John Bentley said of Brooks.
One of the things he hopes to get involved with is the purchasing practices of the city.
Mayor John Bentley swears in Harlem Councilwoman Robin Root, who is accompanied by her husband Todd Root.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Brooks, a purchasing analyst for John Deere, said the city could benefit from making better decisions.
"Right now we don't have good inventory and asset control," he said. "If we can buy a six months supply, it might be cheaper than getting it one at a time."
Along with improving how the city spends money, Brooks said he would like to be involved with public safety. Typically, a council member concentrates on specific departments. Because he studied criminal justice at the Citadel, beginning his term involved with public safety would be the best thing, he said. Root currently works with the department.
Though council members have not yet been assigned a committee for the coming year, Brooks is confident he will be put with the police department.
"I think it is one of the most important areas, besides water and sewer," he said.
Regardless of where he begins his tenure, he would like to spend time with all departments.
"I'm just excited to be able to help the city grow," he said. "I'll do what I can."
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