Judge Shelia Johnson swears in City Council President Pro Tem Tawnya Morris Nov. 18 during the inauguration of newly elected officials at Southfield City Hall.

Judge Shelia Johnson swears in City Council President Pro Tem Tawnya Morris Nov. 18 during the inauguration of newly elected officials at Southfield City Hall.

Photo by Deb Jacques


New Southfield council members take oath of office

Crews re-elected council president

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published November 22, 2019

 Former City Clerk and newly elected Councilwoman Nancy Banks takes the oath of office Nov. 18 as the Very Rev. Father Aren Jebejian, of St. John Armenian Church, looks on.

Former City Clerk and newly elected Councilwoman Nancy Banks takes the oath of office Nov. 18 as the Very Rev. Father Aren Jebejian, of St. John Armenian Church, looks on.

Photo by Deb Jacques

SOUTHFIELD — City Council members were all smiles Nov. 18 as they were sworn in to their newly elected positions.

Tawnya Morris, Nancy Banks, Daniel Brightwell and Jason Hoskins were all sworn in before a brief council meeting and a reception welcoming the new team.

WRCJ 90.9 FM radio personality David Wagner hosted the ceremony, which included oaths of office, remarks from each newly elected official, and the election of the council president from among the council members.

To begin the ceremony, the colors of the American flag were presented by the Southfield Police and Fire departments. Kimmie Horne sang the national anthem.

Rabbi Yechiel Morris, of Young Israel of Southfield, offered the invocation, praying for the newly elected officials to put aside their differences and work in harmony.

Morris, Banks, Brightwell and Hoskins were sworn in by 46th District Court Chief Judge Shelia  Johnson.

Johnson reflected on a quote from Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, who was the first black woman to hold the position.

“She coined the phrase ‘service is the rent you pay for the room on this Earth,’” Johnson said. “So elected office is a very honorable position and the highest form of service that one can aspire to give to their community.”

Johnson said that while Morris and Brightwell have already “paid their rent” by previously serving on the council, she reminded them that they should still be held in high regard and make tough decisions carefully.

“To Nancy Banks and Jason Hoskins … the citizens have selected you as their newest fiduciaries. They’ve imparted to you their utmost trust and confidence that you will pay your rent accordingly and perform your duties with distinction,” Johnson said.

As per election rules, since Morris, Banks and Brightwell were the three highest vote-getters, they will all serve four-year terms, while Hoskins will serve a two-year term.

After the oaths of office, the council unanimously re-elected Councilman Lloyd Crews as council president. Morris was unanimously elected as president pro tem.

Mayor Ken Siver offered his congratulations to the officials and offered his thanks to retiring longtime members Myron Frasier and Donald Fracassi.

Fracassi ran for re-election but was not chosen. Frasier did not run for re-election. Siver said that, collectively, the two men have given 75 years of service to the city.

Siver said he is very upbeat about the direction in which Southfield is going.

“There is much to celebrate as we move the city forward, and many new challenges that lay ahead,” Siver said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with this new City Council during the 2019-2021 term.”

The Rev. David Roberson, of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, offered the benediction.