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New administration sworn in during ceremony

By By Robert Blankenship
Advance Managing Editor
New city government officials officially took office on Monday after a swearing in ceremony in the Atmore City Hall auditorium.
Howard Shell took the oath for the mayor's office while Webb Nall of district 1, John Watkins of district 2, Louie Turner of district 3, John Garrard of district 4 and Jim Staff of district five were all sworn in as the city's councilmembers.
Family members joined the officials as they were sworn in by Judge Joe Brogden in front of the large audience who attended the ceremony.
The first order of business for the council was to install Becca Smith as the city clerk and treasurer. Shell made the recommendation and the council approved unanimously. Smith has served at that position for the past six years.
The council followed by reappointing Bert Rice as the city judge.
Shell said more appointments will be made during the next city council meeting.
The councilmen voted to hold their meetings every second and fourth Monday of each month at 4 p.m. at the Atmore City Hall.
Each councilmember was assigned as heads of committees. Nall will serve as the head of finance, parks and recreation; Watkins will work with the street and sanitation departments; Turner will head up the fire department and cemeteries; Garrard was assigned to the library and beautification and Staff will work with the police department and airport.
Other items passed by the council included:
n approved the appointment of Shell as the superintendent of the utilities
They approved a motion to retain officers and employees and designated the mayor as the appointing authority.
n Approved to designate the depositories for municipal funds.
n They adopted agenda rules and procedures.
n The council voted unanimously to approve a recommendation made by Shell that appointed senior councilman Watkins as the city's mayor pro-tempore.
Following the ceremony, a reception was held in honor of the new administration. The event was hosted by the chamber of commerce.