New mayor of Smiths Station getting settled into new position

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 10:01 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Smiths Station’s new mayor, Richard Cooley, is getting settled into his new position.

Because of the sudden death of past Mayor Bubba Copeland, a new mayor was appointed by the Smiths Station City Council instead of a special election.

Mayor Richard Cooley is still unpacking and getting settled into his office but he was able to carve out time to talk about the town he loves and is honored to lead.

As of Tuesday evening, long time educator and former city council member, Richard Cooley, is the new mayor of the city of Smiths Station. Typically when there is a public official vacancy - a special election will need to be held. According to Mayor Cooley, with the size of Smiths Station, the state gives the city government the ability to appoint an individual to fill the vacancy.

“We decided to go that route. As a result of me stepping up from place 4 to the Mayor’s seat, that now leaves a vacancy which we announced Tuesday night, immediately after my swearing in.”

Cooley says to apply for his vacant city council seat, you must be a resident of Smiths Station and be a registered voter.

“Actually, for that position, we’re taking applications. Now through noon on the 28th of this month.”

Herman Fisher is a resident of Smiths Station and disabled veteran. He says he hopes the new Mayor will support and not forget about the veterans in the area.

“We often talk about how we appreciate the veterans service, but very few people and places actually put it into play, other than during an election period. So, hopefully this new mayor won’t forget the veterans who could help put him in office.”

Mayor Cooley an Air Force Vietnam Vet - and Fisher both agree- no matter where you go or who you may run into...Smiths Station is a family.

“One of the good things about Smiths Station is, you could go to the Post Office, or any place here, the building right behind you, and people are friendly.”

Mayor Cooley says he wants to assure the city that he and the city council are ready to serve them.

“There’s a lot up in the air, but at the same time, we want to re-assure people that we’re still here. We’re going to do what’s best for the city of Smiths Station.”

Mayor Richard Cooley is a life long resident of Lee County.. He’s a retired educator and as we mentioned a vietnam vet. WTVM will be following this and will keep you updated on who is appointed to city council.