Clarksville, TN – Before a standing room only crowd at the Roxy Regional Theatre yesterday afternoon, Mayor-elect Kim McMillan and six city council members were sworn in to serve the interests of the citizens of the City of Clarksville for the next two years. Lance Baker, the Clarksville City Attorney acted in the role of emcee for the ceremony. Judge Ross Hicks introduced Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer who then swore in the new Mayor.
Kim McMillan is the first woman elected to serve as the Mayor of the City of Clarksville.
Afterwards Mayor McMillan swore in the newly elected council members and then held a special called session of the Clarksville City council to nominate and elect Councilman Geno Grubbs as the Mayor Pro Tem.
Baker started out by called the meeting to order and then introduced Councilman David Allen for the prayer. After the prayer was complete he then invited West Creek Middle School’s Vocal Group to sing the National Anthem. Afterward Councilwoman Deanna McLaughlin lead the audience for the Pledge of Allegiance. Baker then asked Sylvia Skinner the city clerk to record the attendance.
Next he introduced the Honorable Judge Ross Hicks who he described as “an esteemed jurist in our community.” Judge Ross Hicks who has been an attorney since 1972. He Was appointed, then elected in 2002 as a circuit court judge for Montgomery County; and reelected in 2006.
Judge Hicks took the podium and said, “I am greatly honored to be a part of this program today. My congratulations to Mayor McMillan, and to all the city council members who are returning to office for another term, and to those who were first elected this term and will be taking the oath of office today.”
Judge Hicks then introduced Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, who would be swearing in Mayor McMillan.
“Judge Wedemeyer is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Memphis School of Law. He came to Clarksville in 1977 to practice law with the firm of Cunningham Mitchell and Hicks. Yes the same one. So I am proud to have something to do with his having achieved the high office to which he now aspired and succeeded. He was first appointed as the Circuit Court Judge for Division II Circuit Court by Governor Ned Ray McWherter in 1990. He served in that capacity until the year 2000, when he became a member of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.”
Judge Wedemeyer took the podium and joked “There is a clause in my contract to do this which says no speech.” As the audience laughed, he continued “I want to be serious and get right down to business. However to break my contract I just gotta say a couple of quick things, and I will be very quick. It’s really an honor for me to be involved today here on this historic occasion. I appreciate being asked to administer the oath, which I will do. Clarksville Tennessee is a great city, in a great state, in a great nation. And under the leadership of Mayor McMillan I have every confidence that Clarksville Tennessee will become even greater in years to come. Ross said that I got here in 1977, I now have three really good reasons that I want Clarksville to continue to be a great and greater city, and those are my three grandchildren who all live here in Clarksville now. So I am very proud to be here and I appreciate your welcome, and I will now proceed.”
The swearing in began with Mayor McMillan, her husband, and Judge Wedemeyer standing in front of the City Council, and the community. “Mayor, if you would raise your right hand and repeat after me,” which she did. The oath was as follows.
I Kim McMillan, solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution, and will obey the laws of the United State and of the State of Tennessee. That I will in all respects observe the provisions of the charter, and ordinances of the city of Clarksville, Tennessee. And that I will demean myself in my official capacity as Mayor of the City of Clarksville; faithfully, honestly, and with due regard for the welfare of the city. To the best of my ability.
To which Judge Wedemeyer said, “Congratulations,” and Local Attorney Kevin Kennedy can be heard out in the audience echoing “Good Job!”
Vickie Koelman, the Administrator of Elections then took the stage to present Mayor McMillan with her official Certificate of Election from the Montgomery County Election Commission.
Following which Mayor McMillan said, “And I guess now I can take my first official act which is to swear in the Council Members who were recently elected. If they could come forward.” Nick Steward, Deanna McLaughlin, Marc Harris, Geno Grubbs, Bill Summers, and Kaye Jones rose and stood before Mayor McMillan who then swore them in.
I (state your name), solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution, and will obey the laws of the United State and of the State of Tennessee. That I will in all respects observe the provisions of the charter, and ordinances of the city of Clarksville. And that I will demean myself in my official capacity as a member of the Clarksville City Council; faithfully, honestly, and with due regard for the welfare of the city. To the best of my ability.
Following the swearing in Mayor McMillan announced there would be a special session of the Clarksville City Council to elect the Mayor Pro Tem. She called the meeting to order, and invited Vickie Koelman to stage again to present each council member with their Certificates of Election.
Mayor McMillan continued the specially called City Council Session to elect the Mayor Pro Tem, “And at this time I will tell you it has been a very tough decision for me. As I look across this room and I see all twelve of you, each of you are highly qualified, and someone who could serve in this capacity I know with honor, and to do the kind of job that would make the citizens of Clarksville proud. But as the Mayor I have to make my first decision, and my decision is to only select one of you that I would like to nominate to serve as the Mayor Pro Tem for the next two years for the City of Clarksville. As I said it was a tough decision but I would at this time I would like to nominate Councilman Geno Grubbs.”
To which Deanna McLaughlin and Wallace Redd promptly seconded.
“We have a motion, we have a second,” said Mayor McMillan. “At this time we are going to vote, and since we don’t have electronic voting machines we are going to ask the clerk to call the roll she said. Sylvia Skinner who then called each name to which the Council Member said “Yes”. Mayor McMillan asked the clerk to announce the vote. “12-0, yes” said Skinner.
To which the Mayor responded “Congratulations Councilman Grubbs” to audience applause.
She then adjourned the city council session and invited the attendees to a reception at City Hall.
Before Heading over to City Hall newly Sworn in Mayor McMillan took a moment to speak directly with the readers of Clarksville Online which you can see in the video below.