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A big day for Tim Williams

Story by Chris Graham

I’ve never seen Tim Williams nervous. I mean, he sings in front of large crowds, he benchpresses 300 pounds in the gym, and the guy doesn’t flinch.

I don’t know that he was terribly nervous today, except that the usually stoic and reserved Williams was working the room before the start of today’s Waynesboro City Council reorganization meeting, working off what I thought may have been some nervous energy, given what we all knew was about to happen.

“It’s ironic to me that a blue-collar guy like me can actually have the confidence of his fellow council members to be mayor and lead the city,” Williams said, reading from a prepared statement, after he had been elected unanimously to serve as mayor.

The gospel singer and USDA contract employee was obviously emotional as he thanked his family for their support of his involvement in city politics. Williams served a term on the Waynesboro School Board and is now in his second term on Waynesboro City Council.

Williams, a self-styled fiscal conservative, allowed himself a moment to be political, saying he was “humbled by the actions of the voters of our city, and the trust that they have instilled in me and my fellow council members. I firmly believe that you, the people, have made the priorities for your government known, and I will do everything I can to honor your wishes.”

A little later, Williams offered comments that I thought came across as being statesmanlike – addressing, at least for today, concerns that had been raised that he might have trouble rising to the occasion and the level of expectations that come with being a city mayor.

“Sometimes as elected officials our priorities and responsibilities get misplaced,” Williams said. “Our job in government is simply to protect our children and families and to promote the general welfare of our citizens. If we adhere to these principles, I see no reason that we cannot continue to improve our infrastructure while we simultaneously grow the city. I see Waynesboro as a city that can continue to offer all of its citizens the services of a larger community while maintaining the serenity of a safe, peaceful and prospering community.

“It is my hope that you will see this council as one that will take the concerns and praises from all its citizens into consideration when making decisions that will benefit Waynesboro today and far into the future,” Williams said.

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