The Purcellville has a new Town Council and it’s set to get down to business starting next week.
The town held its official swearing-in ceremony for the 55th Town Council Monday night in front of a town hall packed with friends, family and residents. Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens presided over the ceremony as he administered the oath of office to Councilmen Ted Greenly, Tip Stinnette, and Joel Grewe and, for the third time since 2014, Mayor Kwasi Fraser.
“I continue to look forward to achieve excellence for the Town of Purcellville,” Fraser said. “We do this because we love community and we’re here to serve.”
Before Clemens administered the oath to the four, Jack Haye, the president of Patrick Henry College, spoke about what it takes to be a leader—being wary of complacency, developing a guiding coalition, having a clear vision of where to go, over-communicating that vision, identifying the obstacles that block the vision, pursuing short-term wins, not declaring victory too soon and remembering to anchor changes firmly into the organizational culture.
“It’s so worth it if you have a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve,” he said. “It’s really important that everyone understands what that is.”
Pastor Alphonso Irving of Agape United Methodist Church delivered the opening prayer and closing benediction, touching on themes of love and community service. “If [the Town Council members] love us, then they’ll do the best for us,” he said.
The town’s newest Town Council will be made up of Fraser, Greenly, Grewe, Stinnette, Councilmen Chris Bledsoe and Ryan Cool and Vice Mayor Nedim Ogelman. The terms for Greenly, Grewe and Stinnette will run through June 30, 2022. Grewe and Stinnette’s first Town Council meeting will be Tuesday, July 10. Fraser’s term will run through June 30, 2020.
The council has experienced a lot of change in the past year. One year ago, it consisted of Fraser; Cool; Ogelman; Councilman Doug McCollum, who decided to not run for re-election this year after one four-year term on the council; Councilwoman Kelli Grim, who stepped down in October to prepare for a family move out of state; and Councilwoman Karen Jimmerson, who resigned in April to start ramping up her campaign for the Blue Ridge District’s seat on the county Board of Supervisors, which is up for election in November 2019.