Judge Hardaway is sworn in by Chief Judge William M. Fleming Jr. The Columbia County Commission met Thursday evening in Evans, and several officials took oaths.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
From a swearing-in ceremony to county appointments, it was a day for new beginnings in Columbia County.
county commission meeting, the first of the new year, several recently elected officials were sworn into office for another term.
Those sworn in included: Clerk of Court Cindy Mason, Coroner Tommy King, Probate Court Judge Pat Hardaway, District 2 Commissioner Tommy Mercer, District 3 Commissioner Diane Ford and District 4 Commissioner Lee Anderson.
Tax Commissioner Kay Allen was unable to attend the ceremony because of a death in the family. However, she had been sworn in beforehand, Hardaway said.
Before swearing in Hardaway, Chief Judge William M. Fleming Jr. told a crowd in the Evans Government Complex Auditorium that he had persuaded Hardaway to run for another term after she had thought about not running.
"I said, 'You can't do that,''' Fleming said. "You've done a great job for Columbia County.''
All of those sworn in Tuesday night will now serve four more years, with the exception of Anderson, whose term lasts only two years. The term for his district was temporarily shortened in 2002 when the county changed from five to four district-elected commissioners. He will go back up for re-election for a full four-year term in 2006.
Columbia County Probate Judge Pat Hardaway (from left) swears in County Commissioners Lee Anderson, Diane Ford and Tommy Mercer. Ford was reappointed to her position as vice chairwoman for the commission.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
During Tuesday's commission meeting, commissioners also voted to name their vice chairman for the year. For the second year in a row, Diane Ford was named to the post with a unanimous vote.
Ford thanked her fellow commissioners for the honor and her constituents for re-electing her. She said she looked forward to working as vice chairwoman for another year, but she has said she will relinquish the title to someone else next year.
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