Helena swears in new mayor, city council
By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter
HELENA — Following the recent municipal elections, the City of Helena swore in new and returning members of its city council, city officials and the new mayor, Brian Puckett, who will serve the city for the next four years.
The council members sworn in at the ceremony included Leigh Hulsey in Place 1, Chris VanCleave in Place 2, Laura Joseph in Place 3, Alice Lobell in Place 4 and Hewy Woodman in Place 5.
After winning the mayoral election, Puckett was sworn in to serve the city for the next four years, replacing former mayor Mark Hall, who served the city for the previous eight years.
“First and foremost, congratulations to everyone. I know for the next four years we are going to do a lot of great things together,” Puckett said.
The council also voted to select Alice Lobell as the new city council president, and Leigh Hulsey as mayor pro tem.
Each of the council members took time to express their gratitude towards their family and friends, the citizens of Helena and their fellow members as they look forward to what they can accomplish in the future.
“I am humbled,” Lobell said. “We are going to do some pretty good stuff.”
Hulsey added that she is honored and excited for what can be accomplished in the city.
“There is absolutely a known presence of the hand of God’s favor on the city of Helena,” Hulsey said. “I am thrilled to be a part of that. It has been fun and interesting to watch things progress and change. It is an honor and privilege to be a part of that.”
Woodman, who is also returning to the council, knows Helena is a special place with how it unites for the good of the city.
“Congratulations to everybody and thank you all for coming here and participating in democracy,” Woodman said. “I think in a time where our country is divided this is a wonderful example of how our city comes together.”
Joseph added that this group will be extremely productive for the city.
“Helena has a great team and we work really well together. These next four years are going to be really productive and bring som great changes for the benefit of the city, and I’m excited to get back to work,” Joseph said.
VanCleave said he can’t wait to get started on working for the city during the next four years.
“Thank you all so much for coming and being supporters of everyone sitting here tonight, and I look forward to serving for the next four years,” said VanCleave.
Several city officials were also sworn in during the ceremony including Amanda Traywick as the City Clerk and Treasurer, Peter Valenti as Fire Chief, Victor Portella as the Municipal Judge for Helena and Roger Hepburn as the Municipal Court Prosecutor for the city.
William Bradford Flynn was sworn in as the Interim Police Chief, filling the position left as Chief Pete Folmar recently announced his retirement.