Mount Gilead town officials installed in Sunday ceremony

The oath of office has been administered to Mount Gilead’s recently-elected town officials. After retiring from the post earlier, Mayor Earl Poplin has returned to office for a fifth term, and Town Commissioners Tim McAuley and Branson Webb have reaffirmed their commitments after winning reelection Nov. 5. Montgomery County Clerk of Court John Deaton officiated the ceremony Sunday afternoon at the Mount Gilead Museum. In his remarks, Mayor Poplin thanked his supporters and spoke about what he called the privilege of participating in a democracy.

Branson Webb and Tim McAuley (left and right, at center) take the oath of office Dec. 1, 2013, following their reelection as Town Commissioners of Mount Gilead, N.C. (Johnny Almond photo)

Branson Webb and Tim McAuley (left and right, at center) take the oath of office Dec. 1, 2013, following their reelection as Town Commissioners of Mount Gilead, N.C. (Johnny Almond photo)

“The election is over. If you supported my opponent, that’s your privilege. Support somebody and something. Thankfully, we have a form of government that allows us the privilege of voting.”

Without specifically mentioning the recent vote challenge involving the Montgomery family, Poplin did appear to address the situation.

“I hope you will never, ever, buy into the lie that your town manager, staff, town board or anyone else tried to suppress anyone’s vote. It did not happen.”

Poplin’s remarks included some of his vision for the future of Mount Gilead.

“The main reason I ran for election is because, as I see it, we have become a divided community. I’m not naïve enough to think that one person can put things back together single-handedly. But, one person can set the tone, and I intend to do so.”

WMTG will air the complete ceremony installing the town officials in a special rebroadcast Wed., Dec. 4, at 9 p.m.

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