Incoming Augusta Mayor Garnett Johnson takes oath of office

Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 9:52 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2022 at 10:24 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Mayor-elect Garnett Johnson was sworn in Tuesday morning in the Lee N. Beard Commission Chamber on the second floor of the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building, 535 Telfair Street.

“I’m excited to serve this city as the 85th mayor of Augusta-Richmond County,” Johnson said ahead of the ceremony. “I want all residents to know that my administration will be open and here for you. I look forward to working to bring positive change to the city. It’s time for us to unite for the greater good of Augusta and this region.”

After the ceremony, he hosted a luncheon at the Augusta Museum of History, where we asked him about his stance on addressing one of our city’s deadliest challenges: crime.

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Mayor-elect Garnett Johnson was sworn in at the Lee N. Beard Commission Chamber at the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building.

“I think it’s a community-wide effort. It not only takes the sheriff’s office but the marshal’s office. It takes the citizens that live in these neighborhoods. It takes people wanting to care to want to clean up their neighborhoods,” he said.

Friends, family, and coworkers gathered to hear the new direction for a city that’s gaining a new leader for the first time in eight years.

Johnson focused on addressing the city’s infrastructure and growth and made it a point to include the entire city in those plans.

Garnett Johnson's swearing-in ceremony drew a crowd at the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal...
Garnett Johnson's swearing-in ceremony drew a crowd at the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building on Dec. 20, 2022.(WRDW)

While the ceremony was Tuesday, Johnson will not officially become mayor until Jan. 1.

“This city that I love so much, where I was born and raised. The son of a school bus driver, who grew up in all of the challenges of crime and poverty,” he said.

Augusta currently stands at a five-year high monthly average for murder and gun violence, and tackling that will be a priority.

“I was born in east Augusta. I now live in west Augusta, operate a business in the central district, and I’ve spent a lot of time in south Augusta. I am part of every facet of this city,” said Johnson.

In the meantime, Johnson has announced two key staff appointments.

Jasmine Sims, associate vice president for workforce solutions at the Augusta Metro Chamber, will serve as chief of staff.

Prior to her time at the chamber, Sims served with the Richmond County School System for 20 years in different capacities.

“The constituents of Augusta-Richmond County deserve the very best in support from its leadership,” Sims said. “This happens with the investment of time and being open and honest about our challenges. I look forward to leading Mayor-elect Johnson’s administration and helping secure the continuum of greatness in the city of Augusta.”

From left: Jasmine Sims and  Brennan Meagher
From left: Jasmine Sims and Brennan Meagher(Contributed)

Also, Brennan Meagher, program director at Augusta Locally Grown, will serve as communications and community liaison.

She holds an undergraduate degree in communications and a master’s degree in public administration from Augusta University.

“I’m a fourth-generation Augustan and truly love this city,” Meagher said. “I look forward to sharing its story and serving the community alongside the mayor, the Augusta-Richmond County commissioners, and their teams.”