Tom Joyce Staff Reporter
December 6, 2013
Mount Airy Mayor Deborah Cochran and two members of the city board of commissioners were sworn in Thursday night to serve the municipality for four more years.
“I look forward to serving another term as mayor of my hometown,” Cochran said after she was administered the oath of office by Judge Bud Oliver, also a former city commissioner.
The mayor, who was re-elected to her second term in the municipal election on Nov. 5 when she ran unopposed, also shared her vision for the city for the next four years, saving she will continue to seek God’s guidance.
“Mount Airy is a strong and prosperous city,” said Cochran, who originally joined city government as at-large commissioner in 2007. “We trust God and do what is right.”
As she did after first being sworn in as mayor in 2009, Cochran said she will send letters to every church in town requesting that their congregations pray for the city government to help it make the decisions to be faced.
“I look to the future with hope,” the mayor added. “I want to thank citizens for the confidence they have placed in me.”
Commissioners Jon Cawley and Steve Yokeley offered similar remarks after being sworn in to new four-year terms during Thursday night’s meeting attended by family members and well-wishers of the affected city officials.
“It’s been an honor to serve for five years,” said Cawley, a North Ward commissioner who was appointed to the board in 2008 and elected to his first term a year later. “I think that begins with listening to people.”
Cawley, who also was unopposed in the November election and was administered the oath of office Thursday night by Judge Oliver, offered thanks to those who make city government work. “We need to never forget…that it is our people who make the difference.”
Yokeley, meanwhile, had a more difficult path to Thursday night’s swearing-in ceremony than Cochran and Cawley, which included winning a three-candidate primary in October and then defeating the second-place finisher on Nov. 5.
“It was a very big honor to be re-elected,” said Yokeley, who took the oath of office from his daughter, Tiffany Martin, a Statesville resident who is a notary public.
Yokeley, a former dentist, pointed out that Judge Oliver was the first person he met when moving to Mount Airy 40 years ago — and has never looked back. “I just fell in love with Mount Airy, really that day,” added Yokeley, who had not been here previously.
The South Ward councilman said he is looking forward to serving citizens for the next four years.”I enjoy the job.”
Also Thursday night, Yokeley was re-elected as the city’s mayor pro tem by fellow board members, and will serve as a backup to Cochran.
“In the event something should happen to me, the mayor pro tem would take this chair and all the responsibilities that go with it,” the mayor explained.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.