Newly sworn in Lowndes County Prosecuting Attorney Allison Pritchard Kizer is sworn in Tuesday at the Trotter Convention Center in Columbus. Photo by: Kelly Tippett/Dispatch Staff Buy this photo.
January 4, 2012 10:57:00 AM
The upper level of the Trotter Convention Center had enough Bibles in it Tuesday for a camp meeting. The were needed for all the oath taking that was going on.
Elected officials took their oaths of office and began their terms of service for Lowndes County.
With spouses and family members standing nearby, the new leaders put their left hands on the Word and raised their right hands to repeat the words that pledged their service to their respective offices, the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution.
Fourteenth District Chancery Court Judge Jim Davidson and 16th Circuit Judge Jim Kitchens led the oaths of office.
Davidson opened the gathering with a quote from Mark Twain, "If you hold a cat by the tail, you learn things you cannot learn any other way."
He was suggesting the new officials will soon see a different side of governance. He maybe was also suggesting they'd get some scratches in the process.
Once the swearing-in ceremony was over, the governance began.
New Board of Supervisors member Bill Brigham said he was headed straight to the courthouse to have his photo taken for the wall of elected officials that greets visitors as they enter the building.
Next on his agenda was the regular meeting (Tuesday at 11 a.m.) and "whatever they tell me."
Brigham defeated Frank Ferguson to take the District 2 seat on the five-member board.
Newly minted Sheriff Mike Arledge said his first item of business would be a 5:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday with all sworn officers in the sheriff's department. He characterized it as a general assembly to get acquainted and learn the officers' names.
He expects other duties to be brought to him by the people of Lowndes County. He wants to get really involved in community policing, but he will be taking his cues on the specifics from planned town hall meetings around the county, he said.
Other goals are ride-alongs with the sheriff's department and neighborhood watch initiatives.
And he won't make changes for the sake of change, he said.
Arledge is eager to get moved into his new office, which he had seen only once before Tuesday's ceremony, and someone had to open the door for him.
When he went to get the key, he said, "I thought somebody was going to say to me, 'Who are you?'"
1. 3 die in Lowndes County crash COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. No-jangles: Starkville Bojangles closes STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
3. Jurors hear 911 tape as Quinn murder trial begins STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
4. Hickman begins his first day as Columbus schools superintendent COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Photo: No fuel, no rocket COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY