A new councilmember has been appointed to the Dearing Town Council just in time for the first regular meeting of 2009. Michael McTier accepted the request last Wednesday from Mayor Sean Kelley and was sworn in by McDuffie County Probate Judge Valerie Burley before the meeting Monday evening.
"I'm excited about our choice. I think he's going to be a great addition," Mayor Kelley said Monday after the meeting. "Mike's going to speak his mind, and that may not make me happy sometimes. But I feel good about it."
Mr. McTier will take over Councilman Kristopher Wells' duties after his resignation in December. Mr. Wells was in charge of keeping the community clean, sending letters to violators with junk in their yards, organizing the annual town clean-up and working to increase recycling locally.
An election to replace Mr. Wells was not necessary, due to the proximity to the General Election in November.
"I would never have run for this, but as soon as Sean said it was an interim position for about 11 months, I thought it'd be a good opportunity to see what it's all about," Mr. McTier said last week in a telephone interview with The McDuffie Mirror.
Employed at Fort Gordon for eight years, Mr. McTier maintains a power generation plant for a contractor.
"I've always turned wrenches just about my whole life," he said.
The new councilman and his wife, Lynne, have one son, Dillon. He said he has always lived in Dearing, and was a volunteer coach for the McDuffie County Recreation Department for several years before his son started playing football for Thomson High School. Mr. McTier said he is excited to serve the community, but does not have any immediate plans or agendas.
"First, I have to sit down in one or two meetings and see what's being discussed, and just get a feel for the flow," he said. "I'm not sure yet what kind of things fall under the city council, and what kind of things are county, state and federal."
At Monday's meeting, Mr. McTier asked questions and requested a copy of the town's ordinances so he could become familiar with them.