A new era of the Southfield City Council began Nov. 21 after a special ceremony inaugurating the newly elected members to their offices.
Jeremy Moss, 25, the youngest ever member of the Southfield City Council and the highest vote-getter in the Nov. 8 election, was proud to sit among the more veteran city officials.
“I’m excited to join the discussion,” Moss said after taking his oath of office. “It’s a different perspective that I’m bringing to the table.”
Moss and former City Councilwoman Sylvia Jordan are the fresh faces in chambers, and re-election was earned by Myron Frasier and Sidney Lantz, who at 91 is the oldest serving elected city official in the state. Janna Garrison opted not to run for re-election, and Linnie Taylor came in fifth in the vote totals.
Frasier, the outgoing council president, passed the torch to Joan Seymour after the City Council members held a brief election. Seymour beat out Ken Siver for the role by a 4-3 vote.
Frasier expressed his confidence in the new ideas Moss will surely bring forth, given his relative youth.
“One of the concerns we have here in Michigan is that our young people are leaving Michigan,” Frasier said. “(This) council, we’ve been doing as best we can as far as pretending that we’re young people. Now we have a legitimate young person who can bring ideas to the table to help us make decisions for how we can move Southfield forward.”
He also passed along some advice to Moss: “Be patient,” and he thanked residents for their support of the public safety millage back in May while assuring the public that the city is in “good hands.”
“You’ve got a good team, and you should be pleased that we have worked hard and we’re going to continue to work hard for you to make sure that Southfield continues to be the center of it all,” Frasier said.
The ceremony included the presentation of colors by the Southfield Police and Fire Honor Guard, a moving rendition of the national anthem by Rubik Mailian of St. John’s Armenian Church and an address from keynote speaker Judge Mark Goldsmith of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Rabbi Yechiel Morris of Young Israel of Southfield delivered the invocation; Pastor Larry Jordan of Family Victory Fellowship Church gave the benediction.
Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence called the event a “wonderful celebration of democracy,” and congratulated the new members of council, expressing her support and committing to work together.
“Even during these tough economic times, Southfield continues to be recognized as a desirable community as many (others) are seeing decline,” Lawrence said. “We work hard to make this city great despite the challenges, and I can tell you there have been many.”
She called upon Southfield residents to “continue to be engaged.”
“This team means nothing without you,” she told the packed house and viewers watching on Cable 15. “Be the neighbor; be the watchperson over your seniors; celebrate our schools. If something doesn’t look right, call the police. Educate yourselves on fire protection. Use our library. Continue to learn and educate yourself. … I’m asking you as we celebrate this moment as we come together with our new leadership … that we walk out of this room as a team on fire who knows that the challenges we have mean nothing if we continue to be a team.”