EDITORIAL: ‘Madam Mayor’ sounds good
After being sworn in as the 23rd mayor of the City of Florence last week, Teresa Myers Ervin shared with those in attendance a message she said she received after winning the election. The message stated that the glass she saw all around her was from her smashing through the glass ceiling.
In defeating Bryan Braddock in the recent election, Myers Ervin becomes not only the city’s first female mayor, but also its first mayor of color. It is a milestone that cannot be understated. By breaking these barriers, she opens the door for others to do the same.
During the swearing in ceremony, Myers Ervin insisted that she shall not and must not be the last person of color or woman to hold the office of mayor.
“Together we must bring down any and all walls and any ceilings that stand between us and our achieving our full potential as a leading city,” she said.
With all due respect to Myers Ervin’s Republican opponent, House of Hope of the Pee Dee Executive Director Bryan Braddock, whom we think would have served this city well, we think Myers Ervin will do an exceptional job leading Florence into the future. She has the experience and possesses an attitude of determination. Both will serve her well as she serves her hometown for the next four years.
She also possesses something else –a quiet confidence similar to that of her predecessor, Stephen Wukela. Wukela served three terms as the mayor, having been first elected in 2008. Under his leadership and that of the city council, which included Myers Ervin, Florence has grown and flourished.
Myers Ervin’s campaign slogan was “Moving Florence Forward” and we think she will do just that.
We are not alone in believing Myers Ervin will be up to the task. Prior to the election, Wukela gave her his endorsement, saying she has the traits necessary to be successful as mayor.
“She’s tough-minded and willing to make tough choices; even refusing her closest friends and allies when she is convinced her path is correct,” Wukela stated in his endorsement letter.
The shoes she will have to fill are big ones. Wukela served our city well, but while Myers Ervin’s shoe may look decidedly different from her predecessor’s, we think that they and she are made of the same strong and stern material.
The job ahead of her is not an easy one. She will have to deal with the present COVID-19 crisis and the accompanying economic problems. There will be hard decisions to make and not everyone will be happy. Having served on the city council for the last decade, Myers Ervin knows that she will not face these challenges alone. She is well aware that a team will be necessary to achieve and semblance of success. Her job will be to unify the council and the community so that we are all working toward the same goal.
Madam Mayor, we offer you our heartfelt congratulations and wish you great success in the coming four years.