Welcome, and good luck

Published 10:30 pm Friday, January 4, 2013

As they placed their left hands on a Bible, raised their right hands into the air and took the oath of office on Wednesday, two new members of the City Council and two who were re-elected to their posts in November embodied the hope that Suffolk voters have for the future of their city.

Mayor Linda Johnson and Whaleyville Borough representative Curtis Milteer joined council newcomers Roger Fawcett and Lue Ward in pledging to faithfully carry out their duties on behalf of the people of Suffolk during an investiture ceremony in City Council chambers. They promised to do their best to represent their constituents and the city and to try to work together to ensure that life in Suffolk continues to improve.

“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 also stressed the need for council members to work toward the good of the city as a whole, and her sentiment is an important one. Suffolk has been a city divided for too long, and both citizens and council members would do well to remember that all portions of the city contribute to the whole.

But each of the members of City Council, especially those who hail from the northern part of Suffolk — essentially all of those sworn in on Wednesday except for Milteer — should also remember how important it is for Suffolk to have a vibrant and viable downtown. Individual council members might have an understandable tendency to focus intently on the desires of their own constituents, but in the climate that exists today, the city cannot afford for them to forget the needs of the people and businesses in its historic downtown core.

We wish the city’s new and returning council members all the best and look forward to their continuing hard work on behalf of Suffolk.