January 22, 2016
Southern Torch (3399 articles)
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Sylvania swears in new mayor

Sylvania swears in new mayor

Gerald Craig (left) being sworn in as mayor by Sylvania City Clerk Marla Fairley (left)

By Tyler Pruett

tyler@southerntorch.com

SYLVANIA, AL — On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 the Sylvania City Council moved to appoint a new mayor in the wake of Emily Wooten’s resignation. Wooten resigned on Jan. 7 when the city council convened for a special meeting to assign departmental duties. The unexpected resignation left Councilman Gerald Craig to serve as mayor pro tem until the next regularly scheduled meeting and the council could vote on a replacement. On Tuesday, the council elected Craig to serve as mayor for the remainder of the term.

When asked about his plans for the city going forward, Craig stated that currently the city is, “transitioning from reactive to proactive,” as the resignation came, “suddenly and unexpectedly.” After being officially elected as the new mayor, Craig can now start looking towards the future. He plans to consult with city employees and the council to formulate the best strategy for the city going forward. While plans still need to be made, the new mayor wants the first priority to be on infrastructure. “Our streets are in bad shape already, and the heavy rains around Christmas has caused more problems,” Craig said. Another major priority will be economic development in Sylvania. “We’d like to be able to bring in franchise businesses to our town to provide more jobs for our residents. This can be a challenge in a small town,” Craig added.

In terms of good news, Mayor Craig was happy to announce that Alabama’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division has informed the town that Dekalb County Lake will be reopened in June of this year. The lake, which is located in Sylvania, was closed two years ago by the state to be drained and have improvements made to the shoreline and bottom. “We’re looking forward to the reopen. The closure has really hurt the city,” Craig said.

Craig will serve out the rest of the term left by the previous mayor, but when asked if he would run for the position when his term is up, Craig said, “As of now I’m not planning on running for mayor, but as the saying goes, never say never.” His appointment also means that Sylvania will have a vacant city councilman position. And while the circumstances could be better, Mayor Craig stated that he, “appreciates the trust placed in me by the citizens of Sylvania and the former mayor.”

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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