Local News

New Mayors Take Over In Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville

Posted December 3, 2001

— The political makeup of several cities changed on Monday with the installation of new mayors and council members.

Charles Meeker was sworn in as Raleigh's new mayor Monday evening at the Meymandi Concert Hall at the BTI Center for Performing Arts.

Raleigh has never had an evening ceremony before, but Meeker wanted it, so his friends and supporters could attend. Meeker has a list of 34 items already on his

"to-do" list

.

Topping the list is the tightening of restrictions on the clear cutting of trees in the city.

The Raleigh City Council will also have some new faces. Janet Cowell and Neal Hunt take over two at-large seats.

Members were sworn in at the same time as Meeker, but also took their oath earlier in the day at the City Council chambers.

Pitts Hopes To Unite City Council, Focus On Economic Development

Marshall Pitts Jr. was sworn in as Fayetteville's first African-American mayor. His ceremony took place at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum.

Pitts moved to Fayetteville when he was just six years old. He says people voted for him because he promised change.

Pitts wants to unite the city council and focus on economic development. He also plans to create a mayoral cabinet from a cross-section of the community.

Mayor Bell Takes Office In Durham

Newly elected mayor Bill Bell took office in Durham.

Bell was sworn into office inside the City Council chamber at the Durham City Hall. Bell wants to make the city more inclusive in services, employment and contracts.

Bell also wants to add more police presence in rough neighborhoods.

In addition, the Bull City's first seven-member council was sworn in. the council was cut in size from 13 members to seven, with the mayor holding one of the seats.

John Best, Howard Clement, Lewis Cheek, Tamra Edwards, Cora Cole McFadden and Thomas Stith make up the new council. They were sworn in by Bell.

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