ALBANY -- Christopher Pike accepted the oath of office Monday to become the city's next Ward 3 commissioner, thanking his predecessor and vowing to do great things in the process.
Pike, who has been a fixture at every city commission work session and meeting since he beat former Albany City Commissioner Arthur Williams in November, finally took his seat as an Albany City Commissioner Monday night.
"I just want to thank everyone for the opportunity to serve the city of Albany and my constituents," Pike said. "I am looking forward to doing a lot of a great things with this commission for my ward and the city."
In relinquishing his post Monday, outgoing commissioner Morris Gurr did publicly what he has been doing privately for the last four years -- lifted the city and the commission up to God for protection and guidance in prayer.
"May it be by your spirit that decisions are made here at this table in 2010," Gurr said, while delivering the prayer during the second part of Monday's meeting. "...may it be your spirit that guides each commissioner... and may you let your blessings and favor rest upon these commissioners so that your will may be done."
Gurr, who shocked the commission last year when he decided not to seek a second term in office, teared up as he listened to his fellow commissioners hurl platitudes and compliments his direction.
"They (Ward 3 constituents) are certainly going to miss a fine gentleman. He has lived up to his potential on this board," Ward 1 Commissioner Jon Howard said, after recalling how, during one of the many cleanup sessions held in the city, that Gurr worked him "like a Hebrew slave."
"He has been a dedicated commissioner who has represented his constituents in a steadfast fashion," City Manager Alfred Lott said.
Commissioner Roger Marietta thanked Gurr for his dedicated service and asked if he would "consider serving on a committee or two," in the future.
Commissioner Dorothy Hubbard commended Gurr for his hard work.
"You are a very hard worker. If I was to ever ask for a commissioner, I would ask that you be my commissioner."
Commissioner Bob Langstaff thanked Gurr and said he was an insightful force on the commission.
"You managed to change my mind on some issues I never thought my mind would be changed on," he said.
Commissioner Tommie Postell said it was "an honorable situation to have you close to me in the wards. We got quite a bit done. The city, I'm sure, is proud of your work to get Keep Albany Beautiful implemented."
Finally Mayor Adams wished Gurr a "bon voyage," into political retirement, saying, "It makes me feel good that this commission is glued so well together."
In addition to his new job as commissioner, Pike also picked up the responsibility of being the city's new Mayor Pro Tem -- an annual responsibility that allows him to preside over meetings in the mayor's absence.
The commission made the selection unanimous. He will carry the title formerly held by Hubbard until next year when it will most likely revolve to Ward 4 Commissioner Roger Marietta. Historically, the Mayor Pro Tem position rotates numerically from ward to ward each year.