A standing-room only audience packed Columbia’s city hall on Saturday morning to see newly-elected third ward councilman Roy Lovelady’s swearing-in ceremony.
The Columbia activist and salon owner upset veteran incumbent Karl Skala in this month’s runoff election. Councilman Lovelady credits a team effort for his victory.
“I did it with love and listening and caring and a team of people who believed in me as much I believed that I could help them,” Lovelady says.
Lovelady was sworn-in on his mother’s birthday, and became emotional on the dais while reading a poem about his mom. Third ward residents and Lovelady’s salon customers were lined up out the door, to witness Saturday’s ceremony. Some watched on television monitors in a nearby conference room.
Councilman Lovelady also was emotional during an interview with 939 the Eagle, before the swearing-in ceremony.
“Yes, it’s a historic moment, it’s my mother’s birthday. A lot of my family is here, a lot of my team is here, a lot of my clients from my salon are here. Just the outpouring of love and support,” Lovelady tells 939 the Eagle.
Councilman Lovelady received a standing ovation from the audience, after he was sworn-in. The budget work session was delayed for a few minutes because audience members wanted to have their photo taken with Lovelady.
Lovelady and Skala tied in the April municipal election, which caused the August 2 runoff.
He tells us that he’ll focus on listening and learning, as he begins his council term. He’s also concerned about a shortage of resources in the third ward.