Howard elected mayor pro tem

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By Jesef Williams

John Howard jokes that he’ll probably never have to exercise the duties of his newly elected position.
Howard, who has served on Lancaster City Council since 1982, was elected mayor pro tempore at Tuesday’s meeting. He will assume mayoral duties in Mayor Joe Shaw’s absence.
But that’s the catch – Shaw is hardly absent.
Shaw said he’s missed just two council meetings in the nearly 30 years he’s been mayor, and Howard is quite aware of that.
At any rate, Howard said he’s grateful for the election Tuesday.  
Councilwoman Sara Eddins motioned to elect Howard. The vote was 4-3, with council members Kenny Hood, Linda Blackmon-Brace and Gonzie Mackey voting against it.
“I’m thankful,” said Howard, who had been mayor pro tempore twice before. “I’m humbled that my colleagues have placed confidence in me.”
Mackey had motioned to elect Blackmon-Brace as mayor pro tempore, but council didn’t vote on that because the motion to elect Howard passed first.
Staff appointments
Mandy Powers Norrell was appointed for another two-year term as the city attorney.
Tom Holland was appointed city solicitor and Mitch Norrell will now move from city solicitor to municipal judge.
Mitch Norrell and Robert Davis will serve as the two municipal judges for the city.
Darlene Whitley is now the court administrator. Cammie Heath, Ronda Parker, Shelley Vincent, Darren Player and Sandy Nelson were each appointed for another term as an associate judge.
Each term is for two years.
Council appointed the following people to serve boards and commissions:
• Woody Lyles – Internal Property Maintenance Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals
• Normand Neveu and Ken Snipes – Mechanical Board of Adjustments and Appeals
• Betty Huey – Lancaster Landmarks Commission
• Tommy Baker, Jerry Carnes – Electrical Board
• Mike Funderburk and Normand Neveu – Gas Board
• Mary Bernsdorff – Tree Commission
• Rasheda Lockhart and Jackie Tinsley – Employee Grievance Committee
City retirees
Also on Tuesday, City Council recognized three recent city retirees - Phillip Deaton of the Lancaster Fire Department, Court Administrator Kathy Hayes and former Police Chief Hugh White.

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152