New Asheville City Council members are sworn in, old ones depart and oaths are administered as the victors of November’s election take their seats
Above: Locals gathered as the Dec. 15 swearing-in ceremony began. Photo by Max Cooper.
On Dec. 5, after the hardest-fought election in the city’s history less than a month before, two new Asheville City Council members — Vijay Kapoor and Sheneika Smith — and two re-elected ones Mayor Esther Manheimer and Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler, took their seats, with locals, city staff, family and supporters in the room. It also marked outgoing Council members Gordon Smith and Cecil Bothwell departing Council after eight years (Smith attended the ceremony, Bothwell did not). The Council, elected during a time of political upheaval, is the most diverse in the city’s history, with four women and three people of color among its seven members. Local photographer and civic chronicler Max Cooper captured these images of the ceremony, the remarks of the newly elected officials and the first vote (re-electing Wisler as vice mayor). — David Forbes