Mary Esther Reed (center) takes the oath of office as mayor during a Sept. 10, 2013, ceremony before the Smyrna Town Council meeting in Smyrna. Reed is the first female mayor in Smyrna history. (TMP Photo/D. Whittle)
SMYRNA, Tenn. – History was made Tuesday with the swearing in of Mary Esther Reed, who took the oath office as the first female mayor of the town.
In what many described as a surreal moment, Judge Keta Barnes, the first female in history to serve as a Smyrna Municipal Court judge, administered the swearing-in ceremony.
“I’m honored to be the first female mayor of my great hometown that now has a population well over 40,000 citizens,” Reed said during a recent interview.
Reed is taking over as mayor following the Aug. 29 resignation of Tony Dover, who held the position for three years.
Prior to Dover’s resignation, Reed served as vice mayor of the town of Smyrna.
Since he stepped down, Dover has expressed confidence in Reed’s ability to serve as mayor of Smyrna, Rutherford County’s second largest municipality that has exploded with residential and employment growth the past four decades.
“I have every faith in her, and I know that she will step into the role as mayor as a capable and qualified leader,” Dover said.
Reed comes from a long line of family members who have served as elected and volunteer government leaders down through the past century.
Her father, longtime community businessman and civic leader Kenneth “Coon” Victory, served as a commissioner of the Smyrna Town Government for 15 years during the 1970s and 1980s when the legendary Sam Ridley was mayor.
“That was back when we had the commission form of government,” Victory said. “I was the commissioner, for example, of the Parks and Recreation Department before Smyrna went to the council and city manager form of government.”
“I’m very proud of our daughter following in the family tradition of public service,” Victory said.
Reed’s two grandfathers, the late Lee Victory and Frank Crosslin, also served as elected Rutherford County Commissioners during their lifetimes.
And Reed has already indicated she hopes to follow in their steps. The longtime local politician has confirmed she will run for mayor during the November 2014 elections.