Booneville’s first female mayor was recalled last Thursday as the city’s first-ever majority-female board of aldermen was sworn into office to begin their new terms.
Returning second-term Mayor Chris Lindley and sixth-term Ward 2 Alderman Jeff Williams were joined by new Ward 1 Alderwoman Tara Green Lauderdale, Ward 3 Alderman Jimmy Clyde Hicks, Ward 4 Alderwoman Carolyn Miller and Alderwoman-at-Large Lavaille Shields in taking their oaths of office last week at the start of new terms beginning July 1.
The three new female board members mark the first time the city has had a majority of women on the board.
Prentiss County Chancery Clerk David “Bubba” Pounds looked back to the city’s first female mayor, Nelwyn Murphy, as he prepared to administer the oaths of office to the new administration.
“This city has a rich history of female leadership that dates back to the great Nelwyn Murphy,” he said. “Mrs. Murphy’s rich legacy lives on today as we have the honor of welcoming a new board of aldermen that is made up of a majority of ladies. I’m sure Mrs. Murphy would be so proud to see this day and I know that she is celebrating with all of us and this city that was so near and dear to her heart.”
Pounds challenged the new leaders to be servants first and never forget those who put them in their positions.
“I challenge each of you today to always remember the trust that the public has placed in you and remember first and foremost that you are a public servant,” he said.
Challenging times will come for all leaders and encouraged them to remember where help comes from.
“Always remember the last four words of your oath, ‘So help me God.’ Look to him and he will help you through those tough decisions,” he said.
Mayor Chris Lindley also turned the focus toward a higher power as he asked the new aldermen and their families to join with him in prayer following the taking of the oaths.
“We’re all going to hold hands and join together and pray for the leadership and guidance of God almighty,” he said.
The program also included remarks from Dr. Eric Dukes and Rochelle Jenkins, prayer from Pastor Jonathan Soden of First Pentecostal Church and Pastor Antonio McGee of Springhill Baptist Church, music performed by Neecy Arnold and Pastors Stephen and Linda Hoyle of Bountiful Blessings Church, a presentation of colors by the VFW and a welcome by Election Commissioner Matthew Cain.