While some celebrate the last day of the year, others are preparing for the next four years. Folks in Hinesville gathered to swear in their mayor and council today. Judge Nancy Aspinwall administered the oath of office on the steps of City Hall. For Mayor Tom Ratcliffe and most of the council, it's another four year term.
Councilman Jack Shuman is the new member of the team. He succeeds Brian Smith after 12 years.
This year, Hinesville became Georgia's fifteenth metropolitan city, but leaders say it still has its distinct charm. "I think our city is very vibrant, brought about in part by our growth and the constant flow of new faces and people due to Fort Stewart that brings us people from all over the world," said Mayor Ratcliffe. "I think that enriches every fiber of our community.
Over the past four years, the city has earned over $2 million in development grants to offset local taxes. Mayor Ratcliffe says $2 million more is on the way.