New mayors taking reins around county

Published 9:20 pm Tuesday, July 6, 2021

New mayors in Batesville, Sardis, Crenshaw, and Crowder will head their first city and town council meetings this month after being recently sworn in with aldermen in all the county’s municipalities. There were no mayoral changes in Courtland, Como, or Pope.

Mayor Hal Ferrell and the Batesville Board of Aldermen took their oaths in the largest of the ceremonies, held Thursday, July 1, in the Municipal Courtroom. Dozens of friends and family members of the city’s leadership for the next four years gathered to observe the swearing-in, led by Circuit Court Judge Smith Murphey.

There were no new aldermen elected in Batesville this year with four current members beating challengers and one unopposed. Photos from the swearing-in are on Page 11.

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In Sardis, Mayor Richard McCarty has begun his term of mayor after replacing Lula Palmer. That board has two new members – Billy Burkes, who won McCarty’s alderman seat, and Letherio Mosely, who defeated Clarence Jones.

Mayor Jamie Howell will have another term in Pope. Aldermen sworn in for the town board are pictured on Page 9.

In Crowder the new mayor is Mike Hankins, a former town and state employee, who returned to run for mayor.

In Crenshaw the new mayor is Marco Goings, having won the seat after the retirement of longtime Mayor Oscar Barlow in a three-person race.

Courtland’s Mayor Debbie Aven, nor any board members had opposition, so that town certified its list of qualified candidates and held no election.

In Como, Mayor Everette Hill was unopposed, and will lead the town council for another term.

After the Batesville ceremony, Ferrell emailed the following statement to The Panolian last week with the heading of “New Batesville”:

“It is a New Batesville because, July 1, 2021, at 10 a.m., I was sworn in as the mayor. I am truly grateful for the overwhelming vote of confidence from the citizens and businesses of Batesville.

Join me in starting with this mindset, “small changes can make a big difference.”  I’m speaking to anyone who wants to make Batesville a better place.  Get involved, meet new people, join civic clubs/churches and get busy making Batesville all it can be.

Look around your neighborhood, find something to improve, help a neighbor, search city wide for ways to improve the environment and spread joy while making Batesville a better place to live.

During my campaign, I made many wonderful friends who want what you want- an

improved city.  I am confident that together we will start making Batesville all it can be.  Find a group that is interested in rehabbing the city.

Rehabbing is not easy, but it is very rewarding for everyone involved.  As stated in Peggy Walker’s column in The Panolian on June 15, 2021, “there are many positions to play: doer, supporter, encourager, cheerleader, always a fan but never a bench warmer.”

We all know that teamwork makes the dream work. Find opportunities for your part to create a New Batesville.  “Yes” is contagious and significant. Our community can be limitless with your support.

The first step is always the hardest part of the journey.  I will be stepping up to do my part in all areas to make the City of Batesville all it can be. Remember, a small change can make a big difference. Join me in this challenge — start today!”


Photo: Circuit Court Judge Smith Murphey addresses the audience gathered to watch Mayor Hal Ferrell and the City Board before performing the swearing-in of the elected officials for the next four years. Pictured are (from left) Ferrell with Aldermen Teddy Morrow, Bill Duggar, Bobby Walton, Stan Harrison, and Dennis Land. Board attorney Colmon Mitchellwatches the proceedings at right.