Newton swears in council members and new mayor

Staff Writer

Tuesday night, Newton held its city council meeting, ushering in new people and perspectives to the coming years.

The purpose of the meeting was to swear in the new mayor, Eddie Haupt, new city council member, Beverly Danner, and two returning members, Jody Dixon, and Jerry Hodge.

Former Newton Mayor Anne Jordan welcomed everyone to the meeting.

After greeting everyone, Jordan wished Haupt well and reflected on her 16 years of service to Newton's City Council.

“It's been hard but one of the best experiences of my life,” she said.

Jordan touched on a few of the accomplishments Newton had during her years of service.

Some of the accomplishments were building a new fire station, implementing an automatic water-metering system, extending water lines down Highway 16, and establishing a signature event-- Newton's Foothills Folk Art Festival.

Jordan said that she hopes Newton will “maintain our small town and walkability” and continue recruiting small businesses like The Hen & Egg and others.

She said that creating Newton's strategic plan has helped tremendously.

“We have a path and goals that we have set,” Jordan said.

There was a great burst of laughter when she spoke of challenges of council meetings.

“We haven't always agreed-- isn't that right Tom,” Jordan chuckled as she addressed member Tom Rowe. After the laughter, Rowe responded that he would always be the one with the different vote, which created even more laughter.

“We had spirited debate and this is what it's all about,” Jordan said. “It's a democracy.”

After saying the Pledge of Allegiance, everyone took a break, reconvening with the swearing in of new council member, Beverly Danner. Beverly’s mother read the oath of office for her daughter’s confirmation to the office.

The Honorable Robert “B.J.” Mullinax, Jr., swore in Newton's new mayor, Eddie Haupt. Judge Mullinax, Jr. said he'd seen Haupt in action all of his life. “I'm very humbled to administer the oath to him that's going to make him our city's 41st mayor,” he said.

Haupt swore that he would support and maintain the laws of the United States and the state of North Carolina and also faithfully discharge the duties of the office of the City of Newton.

The crowd cheered for him after Judge Mullinax declared him mayor.

Afterwards, Mullinax, Jr. swore in returning council members, Jody Dixon, and Jerry Hodge.

Newton's Mayor Haupt thanked everyone for coming out and supporting the City of Newton

He also invited everyone to come back to the next meeting which will be held in January.

Haupt then brought the council meeting to order with the first item being the election of the mayor pro-tem.

Council member Jerry Hodge nominated John Stiver and Beverly Danner nominated Ed Sain.

Sain declined, saying, “I'll give you an explanation why-- so much back door politics going on and I won't be a party to it.”

He continued saying that he's “going to support the citizens of Newton and that's what I'm elected to do.”

Everyone cheered for Sain for standing up for his beliefs, and Danner nominated herself for Newton's mayor pro-tem.

Stiver was elected for the position.

After addressing new proposals, the floor was opened up for questions, with Haupt presiding as new mayor.

Todd Clark, city manager, gave his report and congratulated everyone elected saying, “I look forward to working with you.”

Sain addressed a genetic-testing scam that targets Medicare recipients before the meeting was adjourned.