Dr. Melody Kelley.

Sandy Springs’ first Black elected official was sworn into office Tuesday.

Dr. Melody Kelley, a chemistry professor and community advocate, took her oath of office on Jan. 4. She will represent District 2 on the City Council. 

“I am both excited and humbled to join the ranks of those who serve our community most diligently,” Kelley said. “I recognize the value of working closely with my colleagues and look forward to delivering real, tangible results for Sandy Springs.”

She said this could not be accomplished alone and expressed her gratitude to supporters with “Team Kelley.” Their support, encouragement and engagement will be critical to ensure that she’s held accountable in office, Kelley said.

“While the historic nature of this victory is not lost on me, I hope to contribute substantively as well as symbolically,” she said. “To that end, I am committed to representing all of District 2. I enthusiastically await what lies ahead for our community.”

Melissa Mular.

Melissa Mular joined Kelley as the other new face on the City Council, taking the District 3 seat. 

“I wanted to thank staff last week for the orientation for myself and Dr. Kelley,” Mular said at the conclusion of her first meeting on the City Council. “You could tell they take great pride in their work and serving our citizens.”

Georgia Supreme Court Justice Shawn Ellen LaGrua attended the swearing-in ceremony.

Mayor Rusty Paul began his third consecutive term as the city’s mayor. He’s only the second mayor in Sandy Springs’ history, following city founder Eva Galambos. Read about Paul’s third term priorities here

Incumbents John Paulson (District 1), Jody Reichel (District 4), Tibby DeJulio (District 5) and Andy Bauman (District 6) also were sworn into office for another four-year term. DeJulio has been on council since the city’s first election after it was incorporated in 2005.

After the oaths of office were taken, the Rev. Bill Murray of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church offered a benediction.

“Lord now that these leaders have taken an oath of office, we pray perhaps first of all that they might have a memory of all that they have promised. This long list of duties and tasks ahead, give them the strength and the will to do them,” he said.

Murray also prayed for them to work together and help give them a sense of humor and joy about the work ahead.

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Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.