West Point council swears in new council member

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, January 9, 2024

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The West Point City Council has a new face. Kevin Patrick took his seat on the West Point City Council at Monday night’s meeting. Patrick, council incumbents Gerald Ledbetter and Sandra Thornton, City Attorney Alex Dixon, and Mayor Steve Tramell were sworn into office in front of a packed crowd at West Point City Hall. 

“Kevin, welcome aboard, we look forward to working with you,” Tramell said.

Patrick, the former chairman of the development board for the city, is the only freshman council member. He was elected, along with Ledbetter and Thornton, in November. His wife, Ranisha, and one of their sons, were by his side. 

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West Point does not have council districts, so the top three candidates with the most votes won seats. Patrick will take DeeDee Williams’s seat. Williams did not seek re-election to run for city mayor. 

After Mayor Steve Tramell was sworn in for his third full term, the council approved a motion to name council member Joseph Downs as Mayor Pro-Tem. The council also recognized two city employees. Griggs Zachary and Gus Darden. Zachary died recently, after serving on the West Point Development Authority Board for 38 years. Darden retired from the Downtown Development Board after 30 years. 

All of the 2024 city official appointments were approved except for Brian Joel Aplin as West Point Public Defender. No council members made a motion on Aplin, so the appointment is tabled. The council also decided to table filling the two West Point Development Board vacancies, Zachary and Patrick’s seats, to consider another applicant. 

During the business meeting, the council approved resolutions for the restatement of the Georgia Municipal Employee Benefits Plan, the rehabilitation of the Highland Drive Headwall, and non-residential development permit fees. 

The last item on the agenda was a proposal to employ the inspection and planning services of Charles Abbot Associates, Inc. During the work session on Jan. 5, a plan was proposed for the company to help with the inspection and plan review for the new commercial developments being built, including Kia’s investment as it adds the electric EV9.

The meeting ended with two announcements, both by the freshly sworn-in council member, Sandra Thornton. She invited everyone to a Martin Luther King Day celebration on Jan. 15. Then, she said happy birthday to Minnie Clyde Murphy, a West Point resident who turned 99 years old.

When Tramell asked if there was anything else, Downs simply said, “Nobody can top that.”