Koon Sworn in as Soperton Mayor
Citizens of Soperton and friends of longtime Vidalia leader John Koon gathered at the Soperton City Hall on Wednesday, January 3, to witness the swearing in of new leadership to the city.
In November, citizens went to the polls to cast their votes for Soperton’s new mayor after former Mayor Royce Fowler decided not to run for reelection. Royce served two terms. Former Soperton City Councilman Johnny Johnson and longtime Soperton citizen and fellow former City Councilman John Koon went headto- head for the seat, with Koon coming out victorious in a 313-201 vote.
“This is not about me; this is about the citizens of the City of Soperton,” Koon remarked. “I could not have done this without you, and now, I guess it is time to go to work. We are going to be working hard to make Soperton a place that everyone can be proud of, and I am excited about it. I take this as a very humbling experience, and I know everyone else does, too.” Koon was sworn in by his childhood friend and fellow Soperton native Georgia Supreme Court Justice John J. Ellington, who spoke about his excitement for his friend during the ceremony. “I’ve probably known John Koon longer than anyone in this room,” Ellington told attendees. “I remember when he moved to Soperton. We were small kids. His family moved back home to his mother’s home place, and when I was in the 10th Grade, John Koon didn’t get to school every morning unless I picked him up because I was a year older than he was and had a driver’s license. We have been great friends for life, and this is one of the things I’m proudest of [for John].”
He added, “What I do know is John Koon has a heart for people, and we are very proud that he is going to be our mayor here in Soperton. We know he is going to do a great job, and I look forward to him being my mayor.”
Justice Ellington also swore in Soperton City Council member Misty Brantley for her second term in office representing District 5, and Stephanie Blair for her first term representing District 2, as she succeeds former City Councilman Johnny Johnson. Both women qualified unopposed for the position and therefore did not require an election.
“It’s been 25 years since I wore a robe in this courtroom; this was the first judgeship I had, the City of Soperton,” Justice Ellington summarized on the experience. “I started right here in this courtroom, and I am honored to be back tonight to do this. What we are about here tonight is important. It’s important to the people of Soperton, but truthfully, it is important because there are city councils all over America doing this very thing. It is important to our system of government.”
He continued, “What we do in public service is not always fun or glamorous. The truth is it is hard work. It is a family affair, and it is a big deal. Thank each of you for what you do, it is terribly important, and I personally appreciate it and know the citizens in Soperton do, too.”
Mayor Koon and the City Council will meet monthly at the Soperton City Hall, located at 1973 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Soperton. Work sessions will be held the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m., and the regular monthly meetings will be held on the third Monday of the month at 6 p.m. Further information about the meetings may be found on the city’s website.