The Valdosta Daily Times
Family, friends and elected officials from Lowndes County and the City of Valdosta filled the Commission Chambers Thursday morning for the swearing in of the new officials.
The seats were full and more were standing, some with cameras rolling or flashing as Retired Superior Court Judge H. Arthur McLane swore in County Chairman Bill Slaughter, who repeated, as the commissioners following him also did, that he would “well and truly discharge the duties” of his office.
Slaughter, as well as Commissioners Joyce Evans, Demarcus Marshall and John Page, first swore this oath of office and then swore an oath of loyalty to Lowndes County. Slaughter took the oath with his wife Cindy standing by him.
Evans took the oath to continue her office with her daughter Sharon Michelle Evans. Marshall stood with his wife Regina and Page stood with his wife Cindy and his sons, Johnny and David.
After the ceremony, McLane asked outgoing Chairman Ashley Paulk if he would like to make any comments, to which he stood and addressed the audience.
“I know the County is going to be in great hands with the new chairman and commissioners,” Paulk said. “And they can call me if there’s anything I can do to help them.”
Paulk also pointed out other officials present in the audience, including Valdosta Mayor John Gayle, City Manager Larry Hanson, Councilman Sonny Vickers, County Commissioner Crawford Powell, retiring Superior Court Clerk Sara Crow and her successor Beth Greene.
Slaughter remarked that it “feels fantastic” to have his election finally official.
“This election has been a one-year process,” Slaughter said. “You’re always nervous going into something like this, but this is a good group of commissioners and that gives me good peace of mind.”