'I think it's time for Garden City to be at the front of all our conversations:' Sen. Mallow

In a packed room full of residents, friends, family and dignitaries from throughout Georgia, Garden City held their inauguration of four incumbents to city council, including Mayor Bruce Campbell, who is the first Black person to be elected to the seat.

City Manager Scott Robider asked for visiting officials to give their remarks at the top of the program, and Sen. Derek Mallow and Savannah Councilmember Deitric Leggett were among those who spoke.

"I look forward to working with our mayor and council to work to remain strong in the city and move through the city through this next era of leadership that will bring it in line with other communities," Mallow said. "I think it's time for Garden City to be at the front of all our conversations, so it's not just Savannah and Pooler. It's Savannah, Pooler and Garden City."

Recently, Garden City began the process of annexing more land to try and balance the scale between the industrial sprawl and residential properties. The bill was vetoed, at the request of the city, after there were "faults" found in the wording, and some of the property they were trying to annex belonged to Savannah. But that doesn't mean the city's done trying.

More: Garden City requests governor to veto annexation bill after faults found in wording

More: Industrial moratoriums in Chatham County expire soon. What have these cities accomplished?

Robider said they have plans on filing again within the first couple weeks of the legislative session, which starts next week, with the proper language.

"I'm really looking forward to the next administration," Leggett said. "We have partnerships in Savannah, and Garden City and Pooler that people have never seen before, and that's why a lot of great thing are starting to happen. This is not just one jurisdiction, or one municipality. This is one area that's leading this part of the nation."

Campbell, councilmembers for Districts 2 and 3, Debbie Ruiz and Natalyn Morris, respectively were sworn in by Judge Crystal Harmon. District 4 Councilmember Ricky Lassiter was sworn in by his uncle, Judge Jule Clifton Lassiter.

"I want to thank the people that believed in me enough to trust me with their city," Campbell said. "We've got a lot of work to do in Garden City and I'm going to give it 150%."

Morris and Lassiter also thanked the audience.

"As you all know, everyone says that your first term on city council is the learning term," Morris said. "You know what to do, you know what not to do now. Now it's time to get the work done."

Destini Ambus is the general assignment reporter for Chatham County municipalities for the Savannah Morning News. You can reach her at dambus@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Garden City hosts swearing in for incumbents, focuses on future of city