Four start new terms on Cleveland, Tenn., city council

Four start new terms on Cleveland, Tenn., city council

September 11th, 2012 by Randall Higgins in News

Cleveland Councilman George Poe

Photo by Randall Higgins/Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Four of the seven Cleveland City Council members took oaths of office Monday for four more years.

Dale Hughes, Avery Johnson, David May and George Poe were re-elected in the August elections. They took their oaths Monday with Mayor Tom Rowland presiding.

"This panel reflects the diversity of our community," Johnson, the vice mayor, said. "We come from different backgrounds and walks of life."

"We have some tough times ahead, but we will be working together to get through them," said May, elected from the 3rd District.

Hughes, elected to a full term from the city's 5th District after appointment earlier to a vacancy, said he "can say without reservation that each of these gentlemen love this city."

"Being elected the first time is an honor," Councilman-at-Large Poe said. "But when you are asking to be re-elected, it is even more of an honor. The voters know you and what you have done."

All four, and other council members, had accolades for city staff, too.

Rowland and Johnson noted Cleveland's success with the $800,000 Tennessee Targeted Crime Reduction Grant was praised last week by the grant evaluator. City Manager Janice Casteel leads that grant work.

The officials also applauded city police Officer Tyler McGuire, who recently bought a new bicycle for a child whose bike was stolen.

"That's not a requirement, but they often do things like that," Rowland said.

He and council members donated money to help reimburse the officer for the bike.

In other business, city resident David Ellis urged the city to act quickly to make safety improvements on Michigan Avenue, where one person was killed in a March traffic accident.

With traffic expected to continue growing on that road, "somebody else will have a traffic accident or lose their life," Ellis warned.

Contact Randall Higgins at rhiggins@timesfreepress.com or 423-314-1029.