PORTSMOUTH – First Ward councilperson Sean Dunne was unanimously voted to become the next Mayor and President of the Portsmouth City Council during Tuesday evening’s special organization meeting.
Dunne is the senior member of the council. He was elected to his second term in the 1st Ward in November after running unopposed.
The new mayor, who is also a professor of sociology at Shawnee State University, is known for spearheading projects such as the Spock Memorial Dog Park and Portsmouth Skate Park. He has also been a vocal advocate for the renovation of Spartan Municipal Stadium, anti-discrimination legislation, and downtown redevelopment initiatives such as DORA (designated outdoor refreshment areas).
2nd Ward Councilwoman Charlotte Gordon was unanimously voted as vice president of council during the meeting. Gordon is now the second most senior member of the council.
Gordon also put forward a new council rule of the council during the organization meeting. Going forward, the council is prohibited from using phones or other devices to send or receive texts, emails, or other forms of electronic communication except in emergency cases.
“This came right out of the Huntington, West Virginia council rules,” explained Gordon. “Most councils around the country are adding this language…this lessens our distractions and it also gives our constituents the respect of our full attention during the two meetings a month in which we meet.”
City Clerk Diana Ratliff, City Manager Sam Sutherland, City Solicitor John Haas, and City Auditor Trent Williams are exempt from the new rule.
Additionally, new council members Andy Cole and Joey Sandlin were sworn in at the meeting.
“I want to strongly encourage the involvement of our community as we move forward,” said 3rd Ward councilperson Andy Cole. “There are lots of things happening in our town that I am really excited about. There are new ideas and prospects, but none of that goes anywhere without our citizens letting us know their thoughts and needs. My goal is to be a sounding board for the 3rd Ward.”
“It’s an honor to serve on council,” said 5th Ward councilperson Joey Sandlin. “I’m thankful to the good people of Portsmouth for affording me with this opportunity. I look forward to working with all of council to move the City forward.”
The next Portsmouth City Council meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. in the city building. The meeting is also live streamed on the Portsmouth City Government Facebook Page.
Reach the Daily Times at (740) 353-3101 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved