First black mayor takes oath of office

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 5, 2004

The town of Harpersville and the city of Columbiana were among local municipalities which held swearing-in ceremonies Monday night. And Harpersville’s event was one for the history books.

&uot;It’s exciting to make history. It’s exciting to be a part of this town and growing,&uot; said Theoangelo Perkins who officially became the first black mayor in Shelby County.

Perkins and councilmembers took the oath of office from Judge Dan Reeves.

The only returning member of the town council is Shirley Middleton.

New councilmembers are Janet Gill, Beverly Oden-Johnson, Deborah Logan and William Knox Rayfield.

Rayfield was elected as mayor pro-tem with Johnson abstaining. She had nominated Shirley Middleton for the post.

The council changed its meeting times to 6 p.m. on the first and third Monday of each month.

Rayfield said there had been comments from the public that the council met too early. Previously the council met at 5:30 p.m.

In other matters the council adopted rules of procedure, ratified First United Security Bank as the depository for the town, kept present administrative personnel in place until they can be permanently appointed and approved Perkins as water superintendent.

That is a position traditionally held by the mayor but which Perkins said could change.

Known to family and friends as LoLo, Perkins said, &uot;We have a chance for a new beginning in Harpersville.&uot;

And he said he looked forward to successfully meeting the challenges ahead. But he said, &uot;We must work together.&uot;

&uot;Progress does not come overnight but if we work together we can make Harpersville the best city in the state of Alabama,&uot; he said.

&uot;I’m excited about working with the new council. We have set some goals.&uot;

He said the council has purchased 20 acres to expand the park and the town wants a new library that will benefit youth and senior citizens.

Perkins said he could not have won the election with one race voting for him. And he said, &uot;It says something about Harpersville. It says something about Shelby County.&uot;

The new Columbiana City Council also took the oath of Office Monday night from State Representative Mike Hill.

New councilmembers include Frieda Abrams and Danny Kelley. Returning are Mayor Allan Lowe and Councilmembers Tim Billingsley, Tom Seale and Ouida Mayfield.

The council continued its regular meeting until Tuesday night to take care of organizational matters and appointments.

Among business matters expected to included in the Tuesday meeting were acceptance of City Clerk Terry Collum’s resignation effective Oct. 4 and acceptance of Police Chief Michael Lann’s resignation effective Nov. 1; appointment of a temporary, acting city clerk, appointment of a temporary, acting police chief,

advertisement and acceptance of applications for a new city clerk, purchase of a vehicle for the Public Works Department, a holiday schedule and certain other personnel matters.