HATTIESBURG, MS. - Former State Representative Toby Barker was sworn in as Hattiesburg's 35th mayor. Familiar and new city council members were also sworn in Thursday at Saenger Theater.
Mayor Barker said, "It was a great day for our community and to celebrate those that have come before us, but also to look towards the future."
He added, "And I am excited to work with our city council and the rest of our city employees."
"We will need all of our residents on board as we try to move forward, there are a lot of challenges out there, but I trust in the will of our creative and talented people" said Barker.
Newly elected city council members Jeffrey George (Ward 1) and Nicholas Brown (Ward 5) said they look forward to start serving the community.
“Well we really got to have an idea of what our budget picture looks like" George said. "I want to work with our other council members just to start increasing the communication between us, and we got to find new avenues to do that" said George.
Brown said, "Well first thing I want to do, is get with the other council members and the mayor and just come up with a plan that needs to be done, and get with the community and see what needs to be done and just go from there.”
During Mayor Barker's speech he announced the Chief Administrative Officer as Ann Jones. “I think we have a good pick with Ann Jones she is a loyal employee."
Barker continued, "Anyone that works with her knows how hard she works, and how much she loves the city, and I am looking forward to working with her and going forward.”
President Carter Carroll is serving his 6th term in Ward 3. Deborah Delgado is serving her 5th term in Ward 5. Mary Dryden is serving her second term in Ward 4.
Dr. Eddie Holloway, Dean of Students at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) served as the Master of Ceremonies. Dr. Joe Paul, Vice President Emeritus for Student Affairs at USM delivered the welcome address.
The first city council meeting with its new members will take place Wednesday, July 5.