ALBANY — With the swearing of oaths by three commission members — two of whom are serving in their first elected office — and a new mayor, the Albany City Commission entered a new era Monday evening.

Dougherty County Probate Court Judge Nancy Stephenson administered the oath of office, first to City Commissioners Jon Howard, who was returned to office unopposed in the recent municipal election, and to newly elected board members Chad Warbington (Ward IV) and Demetrius Young (Ward VI), then to Mayor Bo Dorough. And then the board got down to business with appointments to a number of key citizen boards.

Before the swearing in, the commission and the large audience said goodbye to now former commission members Tommie Postell, Roger Marietta and Mayor Dorothy Hubbard.

“Thank you for allowing me to serve and represent you,” Hubbard said after she was presented gifts by Ward III Commissioner B.J. Fletcher. “It has been my honor.”

With those parting words, Hubbard left the auditorium to a standing ovation. Postell was not present for the meeting, and Marietta left during a recess before the swearing in ceremony.

There was a celebratory air in the packed commission meeting room as the trio of new board members and Howard, the longest-serving member of the commission, swore their oaths of office. Enthusiastic responses to prayers by Michael Catt, the senior pastor at Albany’s Sherwood Baptist Church, and April Young, an elder with the Bread of Life Church in Birmingham, Ala., and new Commissioner Young’s sister, set the stage for the first official meeting featuring the trio of new commissioners.

Most in the large crowd stayed through the meeting, sensing it seemed, that they were part of a special event. Time, as always, will tell if they were right.

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