Outgoing Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams said farewell to office Dec. 16 as she presided over her final City Council meeting.

“It has not been easy building this city,” she said. “I’m proud our little baby has grown so strong.”

Williams, one of the original members of Brookhaven City Council, became mayor in June after former Mayor J. Max Davis resigned to seek a seat in the state Legislature. Williams decided not to run for the mayor’s post in the November election. She will be succeeded by Mayor-elect John Ernst, who is scheduled to be sworn in Jan. 4.

Rebecca Chase Williams is sworn in by State Court Judge Mike Jacobs as Brookhaven’s second mayor in history.

During remarks at the opening of the Dec. 15 City Council meeting, Williams compared the 3-year-old city to a growing child.

“Like a new baby, that first year, the city doesn’t sleep,” she said.To get things going, city officials had to find a place to house City Hall, hire a city manager, who in turn hired a police chief, who set up a new police department.

Then, she said, came the city’s second year, “like the Terrible Twos,” when city officials engaged in a legal battle with the Pink Pony strip club, Councilman Jim Eyre resigned, and “we still didn’t own the parks, but we acted like we did.”

Now in its third year, “our toddler” is up and running, she said. City officials have created new plans and won approval from the state for a charter school originally proposed by the city.

“I have so much pride in our Brookhaven child as she grows,” Williams said.

Williams called serving as mayor and a member of the city’s founding council “a privilege and an honor and something I’ll always remember.”

“Thank you for giving me the privilege of being part of history.”

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.