Pooler inaugurates first female mayor, new council members

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POOLER, Ga. (WSAV)—More than 3,000 people cast their ballots in the Pooler elections in November, almost doubling the turnout from the 2015 elections — votes that made history for the city.

Mayor Benton says she’s honored and humbled to be the first woman mayor of Pooler.

“I can’t believe that it’s me being sworn in as Mayor of Pooler,” Mayor Benton said. “I guess it’s a lifelong dream and I can’t believe it’s coming true.”

Williams, Hutcherson, and Higgins have a shared vision for the city. They all hope to implement more green space into the city and work on drainage and traffic issues.

Councilwoman Karen Williams says she’s excited to continue her work with the Savannah Tree Foundation to create more green space for Pooler.

She also says she wants to include the residents of Pooler during her time as councilwoman as much as possible.

“We’ve got to get the information from us down to the residents so they know what’s going on,” Councilwoman Williams said. “When you don’t know what’s going on, you don’t feel informed and you’re not going to participate.”

Councilman Aaron Higgins says his main priority is simply to listen.

“Through the campaign trail, I heard a lot of people telling me what their issues are,” Councilman Higgins said. “And I want to be able to bring that together and create a plan so my first priority is to listen. My second priority is to learn.”

Tom Hutcherson also made history as the first black council member.

“And hopefully encourage other folks of color because we need that,” Councilman Hutcherson said. “I’m a firm believer that our city government should be representative of the people who live here that we serve. And right now we’re not there. But I’m hoping that with me it’ll start.”

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