CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New and returning members of the Charlotte City Council were sworn in for the start of a new term Wednesday night.
The start of the term comes after an extension of the previous term, which was caused by a delay in 2020 census data resulting in a postponed election. As a result, these elected officials will serve for a little over a year compared to the normal two years.
"There's only going to probably be nine months before the campaign season starts again, Larken Egleston, the outgoing district one councilman, said in an interview on WCNC Charlotte's Flashpoint. "And so get done what you can and don't let the short term keep us from continuing to make progress."
Egleston had run for a city council at-large seat. He did not qualify for the general election after not getting enough votes during the May primary.
Along with Egleston, council members Matt Newton, Greg Phipps, and Julie Eiselt gave goodbye speeches at the swearing-in ceremony Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, four new council members took their places: Marjorie Molina, Dante Anderson, Lawana Slack-Mayfield and James "Smuggie" Mitchell.
Mayfield and Mitchell have previous experience serving on city council.
During Tuesday's meeting, officials unanimously voted Braxton Winston the new Charlotte mayor pro tem. The seat was held by Julie Eiselt, who decided to not seek another term.
In the past, Charlotte City Council has chosen the at-large councilmember with the most votes in the election to be mayor pro tem. For this term, that would've been Councilwoman Dimple Ajmera.
However, Ajmera declined the nomination in support of Winston. She told reporters that she wanted the role but, "I did not want to put my personal ambition over the work of the people.”
Winston said he is grateful for his colleagues' decision. He added that he hopes to be the uniting voice that builds consensus on council.
While the mayor presides at City Council meetings and presents the city special events, it is the mayor pro tem who assumes all duties, powers, and obligations of the mayor whenever the mayor is absent, according to the city of Charlotte. The mayor pro tem is an appointed position while the mayor is elected.