A serious transition

Published 9:41 pm Tuesday, January 6, 2015

In a tradition that springs in part from ceremony and in part from expediency, Suffolk’s city council will not hold its regularly scheduled meeting tonight. Tradition dictated that the meeting be supplanted by the investiture ceremony that took place Monday at City Hall, when four members took the oath of office after having won their respective elections in November.

Canceling the first meeting of the year after a new council is seated is intended to give new members a chance to get their feet on the ground, time to study the issues before council and opportunity to develop some of the relationships that will be necessary to govern well.

Judging from their presence at the intervening meetings between their election in November and their taking the oath of office on Monday, however, it’s a good bet that the new kids on the block will be ready to hit the ground running when they sit in their first official meeting Jan. 21.

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In the case of Mike Duman, re-elected to office without opposition in November, there is no transition at all. In the case of Leroy Bennett — who served on the council until he was drawn out of his district, forcing him to run against and beat Charles Brown — the transition should be painless. And in the case of the two newcomers, Don Goldberg and Tim Johnson, any transition will have been eased by the eager way they have approached learning about what’s going on in the city.

The real work begins later this month, but Suffolk residents should be glad to know that their newest council members already are taking their new jobs seriously.