SOCIAL CIRCLE - David Keener, 55, a retired BellSouth manager, was appointed at the April 21 City Council meeting to fill the unexpired council term of the late David Terry.
Terry, who died April 5, had served more than half of his four-year term at the time of his death. According to the city charter, the City Council can appoint a successor to fill an unexpired term if less than half of the term remains.
Keener is the son-in-law of Terry, who had served on the council since 2002. His appointment was approved unanimously by the council, although he was not sworn in until April 22 due to the unavailability of City Judge Rebecca Dally at last Tuesday night's meeting.
A moment of silence in memory of Terry was observed at the beginning of the meeting Tuesday at the request of Mayor Jim Burgess.
Keener said last week he was honored to be appointed to fill his father-in-law's seat on the council. Keener said he and his father-in-law had discussed the possibility a number of times, and the appointment fulfilled an expressed wish of Terry's.
"I've got some big shoes to fill, and I'll do my best," Keener said. "Not only was he my father-in-law, he was one of my best friends."
Keener, who is making his first foray into the political arena, said he'll need some time to get up to speed on city issues.
"I attended a number of (City Council) meetings with my father-in-law sitting in that seat," he said. "I've got some catching up to do. I really don't know the hot topics, but one of the things my father-in-law was very attuned to was public safety and the safety (of residents) in the town."
Keener said he's also interested in public safety but doesn't anticipate that that issue will comprise his full agenda.
Social Circle's newest council member and his wife, Penny, have lived in the city since 1994. Keener said they were drawn to the area because of its small-town atmosphere.
"There are really good people there," Keener said. "You never meet a stranger in Social Circle; everybody is really friendly."
Alice Queen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org