VIRGINIA BEACH — Bobby Dyer, a former councilman, was sworn in as the city’s new mayor Tuesday by Virginia Beach Circuit Court Clerk Tina Sinnen.
The ceremony took place inside of a packed council chamber.
After the swearing-in, Dyer took the seat as mayor on the council dais, but not before having a few words with his most recent predecessor.
“It’s your gavel now,” Councilman and former Mayor Louis Jones said as he passed the gavel to Dyer.
Dyer defeated former-Councilman Ben Davenport in the Nov. 8 election — the city’s constitution required that both give up their respective City Council seats to run for mayor.
Dyer said he was looking forward to working with Davenport.
Related story: Bobby Dyer elected as Virginia Beach’s new mayor
“He gave me some very gracious comments the night of the election, and I look forward to building bridges with him,” Dyer said.
The Centerville District, which Dyer represented on council, elected Sabrina Wooten to serve the remainder of Dyer’s unexpired term on City Council. Wooten was also sworn in Tuesday.
“I’ve heard people say that I made history,” said Wooten, who is the only African-American on council. “But you — the people of the Centerville District — you are the ones who made this happen, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve.”
Wooten was the only new member sworn in Tuesday because an ordinance requires immediate installation of new council members if they are replacing a council member who was elected and sworn in as mayor.
Two additional new council members will be sworn in together in January.
Dyer will serve out the remaining unexpired term of Will Sessoms, who abruptly resigned from office on April 18. That term expires on Dec. 31, 2020.