Joe Smith, center, after being sworn in as North Little Rock mayor on New Year's Day. (Photo: Lisa Hutson, KTHV)
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The city of North Little Rock officially has a new mayor for the first time in nearly 25 years. Mayor Joe Smith, who won a runoff election in November, was sworn into the position on New Year's Day. The city's swearing-in ceremony took place at 10 a.m. in the lobby of the City Hall, located at 300 Main Street.
During the ceremony, Mayor Smith released the following statement to residents of the city:
"My door will always be open during my time in office if anyone has an issue to discuss. The Open House will provide an opportunity for my fellow residents to get to know Missie [his wife] and I even if they don't have a specific issue. This is their Government and my staff and I are here to listen. We want all residents to feel comfortable visiting this great building."
Smith, who has spent the past 22 years actively involved in the administration at City Hall, is the 19th elected mayor of the city and succeeds Mayor Patrick Henry Hays who chose not to run for a seventh term.
Other elected officials who were sworn in during the ceremony include:
Diane Whitbey, City Clerk and Collector
Jim Hamilton, District Court Judge
Randy Morley, District Court Judge
Beth White, First Ward Alderman
Maurice Taylor, Second Ward Alderman
Bruce Foutch, Third Ward Alderman
Charlie Hight, Fourth Ward Alderman