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Lanett fills vacant council seat on Wednesday

LANETT — The District 5 council seat that has been vacant since the death of Shirley Motley has been filled, and the mayor and council did not have to look beyond her family to fill it.

In a unanimous vote Thursday evening, John Motley was named to fill his mother’s unexpired term.

“Shirley is no longer with us, but I know she would be so proud of this,” said Mayor Kyle McCoy. “John, I know you will do a good job for us.”

Motley took the oath of office from County Attorney Skip McCoy.

Two proud family members, John’s father, Larry Motley and sister, Laurin Jennings, were there to see it.

“It’s an honor to be part of this council,” John said “I appreciate you letting me fill out the balance of my mother’s term. She would have liked that. She loved this city and gave 40 years of her life serving it.”

Like his parents, John is a graduate of Lanett High (1986) and like his dad before him starred in sports. He was chosen Mr. LHS his senior year. After high school, he went on to attend Auburn University, where he graduated with a degree in marketing in 1990. He lived away from Lanett for a number of years but moved back in 2013 to be close to his aging parents. He’s the father of 13-year-old twins, Tripp and Jayden.

John said that he hasn’t made up his mind on whether to seek a full term to the seat. The next municipal election takes place on Aug. 26; the qualification period runs from July 7 to July 21.

“I just want to honor my mother’s memory by finishing out her term,” he said. “I do like what I have seen going on in the city, the coming of the new Tractor Supply store, the clean up of the mill site and the improvements we have seen downtown. This is good for the town, and I am glad to have seen it.”