Warner Robins City Council had two important firsts in its first meeting of the year Tuesday.
The council had a new member as Daron Lee was sworn in. He is the first black council member elected citywide, and for the first time the council has two black members. The other is Councilman Clifford Holmes, who was sworn in for another term. He did not face opposition in the Nov. 7 election.
Lee started his campaign in a field of four candidates, then narrowly won a run-off.
"This would not be possible without everyone," Lee said. "It took more than one race, it took more than one gender, it took more than one (religious) belief to make this possible today. I will tell you, I pray that as long as you all are holding me up, I will never fall and will never let you down."
Also sworn in for second terms were Councilman Keith Lauritsen and Mayor Randy Toms, who both defeated opposition candidates for their re-elections.
About 100 people attended the swearing in, which was done at the beginning of the council meeting. Attendees included top leaders from Robins Air Force Base.
Toms was the last to be sworn.
"I came into this office four years ago, not really knowing how little I knew," he said. "Four years later, though I have learned much on the learning curve, I am fully aware of how little I know now."
Lee also was named mayor-pro tem. That wouldn't normally be the case for someone just joining the council, but Toms pointed out Lee had previously served on council. The job is normally rotated and would have fallen to Lauritsen this year. Lauritsen, a middle school principal, said he did not believe with the demands of his job that could fulfill the duties off mayor pro-tem, who serves as mayor when the mayor is not available.