New Central mayor, councilman take oath

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

CENTRAL — Longtime Central Mayor Mac Martin’s 16-year tenure officially came to an end Monday night as he ceded the seat to Andrew Beckner less than five minutes into the regularly scheduled town council meeting and departed council chambers amid handshakes and other well wishes.

Beckner defeated Martin and Rosa Grayden in a three-way election in November and officially took to the podium after being sworn in by town clerk Susan Brewer. Newly elected Councilman L.C. Hayes also took his council seat following the swearing-in ceremony, which also included incumbents Paige Bowers and Ken Dill, both elected to their fourth term on council in November.

“I’m glad the first meeting is out of the way, for sure,” Beckner said after the meeting. “It’s a big learning curve, but I’ve had a lot of wonderful people help out. I’m just excited to work with them.”

Becker said before taking office that one of his campaign goals was to give Central residents a voice and ensuring they are engaged in what is taking place in the town. Beckner, who works in communication and organizational leadership at Anderson University, wants to improve those areas in Central.

Hayes, a local businessman, said he is excited about getting started with his service on council.

“I’m ready to get to work for the town of Central and the people of Central,” Hayes said. “That’s why I’m here.”

Serving as the council representative on the tourism and economic development committee, Hayes said Central “is on the cusp of massive growth.”

“I want to make sure we’re prepared with our infrastructure and also that we foster small business growth and opportunities that are centrally and economically diverse,” Hayes said. “That’s what’s unique about Central — that we’re very socioeconomically diverse — so we want to retain that as we grow.”

Councilwoman Lynne O’Dell Chapman nominated Councilman Joe Moss as mayor pro tem, and council unanimously approved her nomination.