Taking the oath

Published 10:18 pm Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mayor Linda T. Johnson takes the oath for her second term as the directly elected mayor Wednesday with her husband Jesse Johnson by her side. Clerk of Circuit Court Randy Carter, right, administered the oath.

The City Council welcomed two new members and two returning members during an investiture ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

Councilman Lue Ward takes the oath of office as his wife Wanda Ward looks on.

Returning Mayor Linda T. Johnson was sworn in for her second term as the city’s first directly elected mayor. Councilman Curtis R. Milteer Sr. took the oath of office for his ninth consecutive term. And Councilmen Roger Fawcett and Lue Ward swore to uphold the Constitution for their first elected positions.

“I feel such gratitude to be able to continue to serve the city of Suffolk,” Johnson said after the oaths. “I look forward to working with my fellow council members, old and new.”

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Johnson said her goals for the coming term include bringing more jobs to the city, diversifying its industries, working more closely with the School Board, improving public safety and addressing blight and crime.

“We have to be one city,” she added. “Not North Suffolk, not old Suffolk, not downtown, not a single borough, not a village.”

Councilman Roger Fawcett takes the oath of office with wife Candy Fawcett holding the Bible.

Milteer drew laughter when he told the crowded council chambers, “This is not my first rodeo.”

“Thirty-two years ago, the citizens of Whaleyville gave me an opportunity to serve them,” he said. “I love this city because I was born here. Some people migrated here; I was born here.”

Fawcett called the investiture “a great day for Suffolk.”

“I assure you I will not disappoint you,” he said. “I’ll be my own person, my own mind.”

Ward also assured the voters he would work in their best interest.

Councilman Curtis R. Milteer Sr. takes the oath of office for his ninth term with his wife Sarah Milteer holding the Bible.

“I’m going to be the best councilman I can,” he said. “It ain’t going to happen overnight, but you better believe you’re going to have a voice. I want to thank the voters in the November election that voted for me, and the ones that didn’t vote for me, I’ll still be your councilman.”

In a brief meeting following the ceremony, the council voted unanimously for Charles Brown to continue as vice mayor.