Mann takes office as mayor

Dec. 03, 2013 @ 10:24 PM

With gavel in hand, Chet Mann officially ushered in a new Sanford City Council Tuesday night.

Mann along with the three other recently elected council members were sworn into office before the board’s 7 p.m. meeting at the Sanford Municipal Center.

Council members Samuel Gaskins and James “J.D.” Williams, representing Wards 1 and 3, respectively, rejoined the board Tuesday night along with newcomer Norman “Chas” Post III, who succeeds former Councilman L.I. “Poly” Cohen for the at-large district seat.

“This is something we have been waiting for since June,” Mann said. “I am excited and humbled to start making Sanford a better place — starting tonight.”

Williams was selected as the mayor pro tem after being nominated by Gaskins, who previously held the position.

“I want to thank you Mr. Mayor, the new people as well as the incumbents,” Williams said. “Also thank you to the audience members most of all for your support you give the city.”

During the last three months of campaigning, Gaskins said he enjoyed learning more about the two new members and that he was looking forward to getting to work.

“I am very happy and really excited about the energy and enthusiasm this board has to move Sanford forward,” he said.

Post thanked his family members and friends, along with his fellow council members, who shared their support throughout the campaign and during the swearing-in ceremony.

“I am humbled and honored to be able to sit up here with legendary Sanfordians like Mr. Walter McNeil and Mr. (Jimmy) Haire; a gentleman who is willing to reach across party lines to do what is best for the city like Mr. Taylor; good friends and friends like Mr. Williams, Mr. Gaskins and Ms. (Rebecca) Wyhof. And who couldn’t be more excited for our new mayor.”

North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall administered the oath of offices, and expressed her gratitude to those dedicating themselves to public services.

“Public service is a very noble calling,” she said. “For those of you who are going to be sworn in tonight, the voters of this city have put their trust in you. It was an act of faith.”

All of the council members expressed their welcome to the new and returning members, all expressing their desire to make the city a better place. 

A reception for the returning and new members was held after the meeting in the Sanford Municipal Center lobby.

In other matters, Council:

* Heard from Lee County Commissioner Vice Chairman Kirk Smith, who welcomed the new members and said he looked forward to a spirit of cooperation between the Sanford City Council and the Lee County Board of Commissioners.

* Were greeted by Cub Scout Pack 942 member hoping to earn their civics badge.

* Rezoned less than an acre at 2800 Lee Ave. from General Commercial to Light Industrial.

* Rezoned nearly 11 acres at 1248 Broadway Road from Residential and Light Industrial to General Commercial. A portion of this land is the proposed site of a local Veterans Affairs clinic.

* Updated Elite Storage’s conditional zoning request for two tracts of land at 2203 Woodland Ave. for the development of a mini-warehouse storage business. Elite Storage also submitted a preliminary plat for 8.6 acres to build a similar mini-warehouse storage in the 1500 block of Douglas Drive. The plat was approved by council.

* Repealed a “no parking zone” at 305 N. Steele St.