Mount Olive’s newly-elected Mayor Kenny Talton was sworn into office and seated with emotional moments at the Dec. 2 meeting of the town board, and it was all witnessed by an overflowing crowd at the Historic Train Depot.
State Sen. Don Davis of Snow Hill administered the oath of office for Talton and all five board members.
Davis had administered Talton’s oath before in 2005 when he was sworn into his first term as a member of the Mount Olive Town Council. Talton went on to serve five terms before stepping down. Talton’s wife, Carrie, and daughter, Emma, were at his side as he took the oath to office.
During some brief comments to the audience after he was seated, Talton was overtaken by emotion several times, even wiping away a tear at one point.
“We are humbled and honored,” he told the audience.
He paid tribute to the current board of commissioners and asked for a round of applause from the audience.
“How excited I am to serve alongside this group of men and women who have embraced me and my family as part of their own and welcomed me back to serve as a leader of this wonderful community. I look forward to serving with you for the next two years,” he said.
Serving in the mayor’s seat was not on his bucket list, he said, but he felt compelled to answer the call of the people who were ready for a change.
“Together, we made a commitment, and I will continue to work to make our town a better place to live.”
He said he wanted to express his appreciation to those who worked tirelessly to promote a new direction and new leadership. He also thanked his wife, daughter and son for their “unconditional love and support.”
Talton said it is the beginning of a new journey together.
“I challenge each of you here to get on board and help this board of commissioners and I work together to put Mount Olive back on track for a brighter future for our families and for generations to come,” Talton said.