Alabaster welcomes new council members

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Newcomers and returning members of the Alabaster City Council said during a Nov. 7 swearing-in ceremony they are excited to serve the city over the next four years, and thanked voters for supporting them in last summer’s elections.

Before holding their first meeting, the city’s 2016-2020 City Council members and mayor were sworn into office during a ceremony led by Shelby County District Court Judge Jim Kramer. Mind of Christ International Church pastor Derrick Morrisette led the invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Thompson High School Madrigals choir sang the National Anthem.

More than 70 friends and family members filled Alabaster City Hall for the ceremony, which was followed by a reception at the Alabaster Senior Center.

In August, incumbent City Council members Sophie Martin, Stacy Rakestraw, Russell Bedsole, Scott Brakefield and Mayor Marty Handlon were re-elected to their posts for another four years. They will be joined by council newcomers Rick Ellis in Ward 2, Greg Farrell in Ward 4 and Kerri Bell Pate in Ward 7.

“I’m just grateful for this opportunity to make an impact in the city working with the mayor and council,” Farrell said. “I think there’s going to be some great things ahead of us, but there will be some challenges, and I’m ready for that. I’m going to make sure I support the citizens of Ward 4. I’ve got some big shoes to fill, but I’m ready for that challenge.”

Ellis and Pate echoed Farrell’s sentiments.

“I want to say thank you to my friends and my family, without who I wouldn’t be here,” Ellis said. “I also want to thank the citizens of Ward 2 for allowing me to serve for the next four years, I look forward to working for them.”

Pate said the returning city leaders have been welcoming to the newcomers.

“Thank you for being so welcoming to all of us new people. Like Greg said, we have big shoes to fill, and it will be with your prayers and well-wishes that we do so,” Pate said. “I appreciate so much the support that my family has given me. I look forward to serving you in Ward 7 and getting to know you all.”

Martin, Rakestraw, Bedsole and Brakefield thanked their family members in attendance for their support over the last several years, and said they intended to continue the progress the city is experiencing. They also thanked supporters in their wards, and said they plan to continue serving them.

“It’s odd to sit here four years later and think about what my children looked like four years ago and to think about how much they’ve grown,” Bedsole said. “Thank you to the citizens of Ward 5 and all the citizens of Alabaster for this opportunity to serve again. Keri and Greg and Rick, we’re looking forward to working with you.”