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New council names Gavin vice mayor


Neal Wagner


New faces during a Tuesday night Columbus City Council meeting brought a pair of new members to city posts and area committees, as a newly elected council breezed through a relatively brief session. 


Newcomers Ward 2 Councilman Joseph Mickens, Ward 3 Councilman Charlie Box, Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem and Ward 6 Councilman Bill Gavin joined veterans Ward 1 Councilman Gene Taylor and Ward 4 Councilman Fred Stewart for the first time as the group voted to name Gavin the city''s vice mayor. 


The board unanimously accepted Mayor Robert Smith''s recommendation and elected the Ward 6 newcomer to be Columbus second-in-command.  


Gavin, who will be in charge of all city functions in Smith''s absence, replaced former vice mayor and Ward 5 Councilman Jay Jordan and will serve in the position until 2013. 


In other business, the board: 




  • Voted to appoint Mickens to the Lowndes County Development Link board of directors.  


    Mickens will serve at the post for the next four years, and will replace former Ward 2 Councilwoman Susan Mackay on the board. 


  • Heard from Columbus Police Chief Joseph St. John as he recognized city information technology specialist Matt Manley for passing a state computer forensics test. 


    "Matt is now one of only a handful of people in Mississippi who are certified to do forensics analysis on a computer," St. John said as he presented Manley a Chief''s Coin. "Columbus is the only place outside Jackson that is now certified to do computer forensics work." 


  • Reappointed City Attorney Jeff Turnage to serve until 2013. 


  • Reappointed City Judge Curtis Austin to serve until 2013. 


  • Reappointed City Prosecuting Attorney Tim Hudson to serve until 2013. 


  • Renamed the Neel-Schaffer engineering company the city engineering firm until 2013. 


  • Authorized Smith to sign the Columbus-Lowndes County Airport''s agreement with the federal Airport Improvement Program.  


    Once granted, the AIP funds will be used to complete fencing around the airport and pave areas around a few newly constructed aircraft hangars. 





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