By Paul Gable
Autry Benton was sworn in as the newest member of Conway City Council before the start of the council’s regular meeting Monday night.
The oath of office was delivered by Judge Alex Hyman. Benton’s wife, Amanda Benton, held the Bible for the ceremony.
Benton won a special election to replace Hyman after Hyman resigned from his council office in order to accept a judgeship. Benton will finish out the remainder of Hyman’s term, which ends December 31, 2023. Benton has already announced he will be a candidate for reelection in the upcoming November 7, 2023 non-partisan general election for Conway City Council.
A short reception was held immediately after the ceremony for Family and friends to greet and congratulate Benton.
Rev. Robert Bannan, Jr. of Kingston Presbyterian Church delivered the invocation for the meeting. Included in his message was the statement that people may have differing opinions on various issues but those differences should never be allowed to divide the community.
Benton joins a Conway City Council that appears to have a degree of comradeship among its members, unique among locally elected bodies in Horry County. The council meeting room was full of citizens who also demonstrated a kinship particular to a close-knit community.
Conway is going in the right direction as Benton joins council. The downtown has full shops rather than the empty storefronts in many towns across the state. The recreation department has expanded and is responsive to the requests of the citizens.
The entire community pulled together through the devastating effects of flooding twice in the past seven years. There is a genuine pride among the citizens to call Conway home.
Benton has promised to listen to comments from the citizens and always let them know where he stands on an issue. He demonstrates the spirit of Conway with his statement to the citizens, “We may disagree on some issues but we will always be friends.”