One new Cleburne city council member was officially sworn in Tuesday night while another declined his seat.

Cleburne City Secretary Ivy Peterson swore in Blake Jones as the new Single Member District 2 councilman.

Jones, in the May 6 election, prevailed over his challenger, Michael J. Hammond.

Previously, the SMD 2 seat sat vacant for several months. Former SMD 2 Councilman Chris Boedeker stepped down from the council in December. Boedeker ran for and won the Johnson County judge seat in November and took office Jan. 1.

In the SMD 3 seat race Joseph Mims defeated challenger James Stuer.

Both entered the race after SMD 2 Councilman Mike Mann announced that he would not seek reelection.

Mims officially declined earlier this month and submitted notice of such to the city in accordance with Texas Election Code rules.

Mims, who did not attend Tuesday's meeting, could not be reached for comment on his reasons for declining the seat.

Council members agreed to hold another election for the SMD 3 seat on Nov. 7. 

Mann agreed to remain on council until the election.

“It just got real,” Jones joked once he was sworn in. “It's been a long road and I want to thank all of those who walked blocks with me, helped me and supported me through the ups and downs.”

Jones thanked his wife, children and the residents of Cleburne.

“I look forward to working with all of you,” Jones said. “I plan to put a lot of time into this and I fully expect to play my part in helping to turn this city into a better place for all of us, and not just for all of us but for the future generations to come.”

Mayor Scott Cain characterized the swearing in of new council members as a sacred ceremony.

“It gives us the opportunity to pause and remember that the power does not belong to the individual council members. It belongs to the people. I always like how [413th District Court Judge Bill Bosworth] sums it up in that when we take the oath we don't swear allegiance to a person or a king or anything but rather recognize that the powers of office derive from God.”

With that, Cain welcomed Jones onboard.

“Mr. Jones, I want to invite you up to the dais to take your seat,” Cain said. “We've got some business to take care of and we're ready to put you to work really fast.”

Never forget

Monday brings Memorial Day and a duty to remember, Cain said.

“Memorial Day is not just about barbecue and having fun at the lake,” Cain said. “It's also a time to remember the sacrifices made by so many of our brave men and women in the military so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have.”

Cain proclaimed Monday as Cleburne Remembrance Memorial Day and urged residents to remember veterans and active military men and women. Cain also encouraged all to attend Monday's Memorial Day ceremony hosted by the American Legion.

That event takes place at 10 a.m. At Cleburne Memorial Cemetery, 405 Waters St.

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