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January 4-- Lyons has a new mayor for the first time since 1996.

Former councilman Willis NeeSmith succeeds longtime Mayor John Moore who did not seek reelection for health reasons.

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Mayor Pro Tem Ben Mitchell passes the Mayor's gavel to the new Mayor.

"John Moore was one of the best mayors I can remember growing up here and I've been here 47 years," NeeSmith said.  "He did a lot for the city in terms of growth, beautification and modernization and I just hope I can carry on the baton of his," he added.

The new mayor is optimistic about the city's future.  "With having Pet Foods come in and it looks like they're going to expand out there, so that's good for the community.  We're going to be working with the City of Vidalia and our county Development Authority to bring in more businesses and that just helps that much more," NeeSmith noted.

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Also sworn in by retired Judge Marvin Hartley were incumbent councilman Ivy Toole, Jr. (far left) and new councilman Bill Mixon.

The city council voted to affirm a decision not to accept stray animals in the city shelter from the Toombs County Animal Control Officer as of February 1. Councilman Wayne Hartley said 75% of the shelter's population came from the county.

County manager Doug Eaves says the county received a letter from the City of Lyons December 29 informing the county of the decision.  He says it came after the county questioned a shelter bill for a six-months period of $11,400 after the bill for all of 2010 had only been $8,000.  

Eaves says the couny has paid the bill and is now looking at some other shelter options.