Mansfield swears in city's first African-American mayor

January 11, 2021
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Mayor Michael Evans administers the oath of office to new council member Tamera Bounds.

By Amanda Rogers

Mansfield Record

Mansfield got a new mayor Monday night, the first new mayor in a dozen years and the first African-American mayor in the city’s history.

Michael Evans, 54, took the oath of office at the beginning of Monday’s city council meeting from former criminal court Judge Clifford Davis, who as a young lawyer unsuccessfully filed a suit to integrate Mansfield schools in 1956. Mansfield’s school district would not be integrated until 1965.

Outgoing Mayor David Cook and his wife, Tonya Cook, were recognized by the city staff.

“I invited him here tonight to let him know that his efforts were not in vain,” said Evans, who has served as a pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church for 34 years and previously served as president of the Mansfield ISD school board.

In December, Evans won the run-off election for mayor over council member Brent Newsom, who had served in Place 2 for nine years.  Newsom and outgoing mayor David Cook were honored by the city staff for their years of service.

Cook, who had served as mayor since 2008, will be sworn in Tuesday as State Representative for District 96, a post he won in November.

Tamera Bounds, who won a run-off over Scot Bowman in December, was sworn in to the Place 2 seat Monday night.

Council member Mike Leyman was elected mayor pro tem by the council members after all were sworn in.

Outgoing council member Brent Newsom and his family were recognized by the city.

The new council had only one new item on the agenda Monday night, unanimously passing the first reading to change the zoning of the .46-acre lot at 105 N. 1st Ave. from single-family residential to planned development. The owner plans to preserve the historic house on the lot, which is adjacent to the Church on the Hill, and build another building to house offices, a coffee shop or boutique. The measure will need two more readings.

The Salvation Army also attended Monday night's meeting to present the outgoing and incoming mayors with the nine-consecutive trophy for the Mayor's Challenge. The city raised $77, 318 for the Salvation Army to defeat other local communities in fund-raising.

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Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.

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