Lewisburg's newest city council member was sworn in Friday during a short ceremony at City Hall.
"It's an exciting time in city government when we have someone come in to give us new ideas and new perspectives," said Mayor Bob Phillips, welcoming Odie Whitehead Jr. who was appointed by the other councilors at their monthly meeting earlier last week.
"One of the things I like the best: Odie Whitehead is a working man," said Phillips. "We work hard" could be Lewisburg's motto, Phillips said, and Whitehead is a perfect illustration. Phillips remembers him washing dishes at The Gizmo when Whitehead was so small he had to stand on a chair to reach the sink.
The Mayor assured the new member of the council, "We've got the best group of people working for Lewisburg."
Odie Whitehead Jr., 62, of 516 2nd Ave. North, told the group, "I will do the best I can, and I welcome the input of the citizens of Lewisburg."
The next big thing to confront the council will be the public hearing, followed by the special council meeting to vote on the landfill expansion. When asked how he was going to cope with this so soon after taking office, Whitehead said, "I intend to listen to the citizens and talk to the rest of the council, and I am confident we will make a fair and just decision."
The mayor and the council are pleased to welcome Whitehead to their number, but
they were not obliged to appoint him just because he submitted his name. City manager Eddie Fuller confirmed that the council could have left the seat vacant until the election next year. It is also within their power to appoint a person who did not apply, and to refuse to appoint an applicant they did not think could do a good job. Whitehead is a life-long resident of Lewisburg who worked for the service department of a transmission manufacturer for 34 years. He's lived in Ward 3 for nearly four years, having moved there from Ward 1 where he lived for many more years.