On Tuesday, Richland County officially swore in five Councilmembers, including newcomers Jason Branham (District 1) and Don Weaver (District 6). County Council also re-elected Councilman Overture Walker as chair and Councilwoman Jesica Mackey as vice chair.
The ceremonial swearing-in took place just before Council’s first meeting of 2023. Along with Branham and Weaver, returning Councilmembers Paul Livingston (District 4), Allison Terracio (District 5) and Chakisse Newton (District 11) were sworn in after being re-elected to their positions in November. The swearing-in can be streamed via the County’s YouTube page.
Both Walker, who represents District 8, and Mackey, who represents District 9, are entering the third year of their initial terms on Council. The Councilmembers both won their seats in the 2020 election and were previously elected as chair and vice chair in 2022.
“I’m truly humbled and honored by your decision this evening,” Walker told Councilmembers. “While I recognize the role of chair as being one that is significant, it is not more important or consequential than this full, distinguished body. I look forward to working with all of you again this year as we continue to make decisions and govern in a manner that makes Richland County a better place to live, work and play.”
The County Council chair and vice chair maintain order during Council meetings, decide which items make it onto agendas and often represent Council at public functions.
“This past year has been a truly great year working together, and I look forward to all that we can do in 2023,” Mackey said. “We have two new great members aboard with us, and I think together as a whole we are definitely going to accomplish a lot.”
Richland County Council consists of 11 members who are elected from single-member districts for four-year terms beginning Jan. 1 of the year after their election. In January, Council elects a chair and vice chair, who serve one-year terms.
Below are statements from the newly sworn-in Councilmembers:
Jason Branham, District 1: “Richland County is a highly diverse county. Our County Council is a reflection of that. While differences of opinion are inevitable, my core hope is that we will navigate those differences with logic, reason and sound principles, always with the best interests of the people at heart.”
Don Weaver, District 6: “The time to campaign is over, and now the time to govern is here. I look forward to representing all the residents, not only of District 6, but of all of Richland County, as we move forward with my colleagues to make Richland County a better place to live and work.”