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People gathered to meet and greet their new Ocala city leaders

People in Ocala came out to chat with their new city leaders. Despite the pandemic, the group gathered in close quarters to network.
Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 11:40 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) -

At Brick City center for the arts in Downtown Ocala, people gathered to stop by and say hi to their new city manager and district two councilman.

Ire Bethea was elected to the Ocala city council district two seat in early June after four elections were held to finally fill the spot. "You get a chance to talk to people who didn't vote for you or whatever the case may be. They want to see what you all about, so I've been asked all kinds of questions and so I gave them whatever answer I had for them."

Some people wore masks but most didn’t as the group grew in size raising concerns for one Ocala entrepreneur. ”It is a risk that you take every time you walk outside of your home.”

Tereka Louise says as the founder of a non-profit, it's important for her to be connected with city leaders. "But this has been prolonged for so long now, I believe that definitely the day has come for us to go ahead and have these people in their position because they're needed right now in the community. The pandemic might not wait but our community's not gonna wait either."

For new city manager Sandra Wilson, plenty of questions and conversations came her way. Wilson said, “This was a full-fledged launch back into our pre-COVID atmosphere.”

People packed the center to find out Wilson's plans for Ocala.

Wilson added, "You can't do this work by yourself, you have to have a great team behind you. And I do have an awesome team and I just look forward to working with them to make Ocala the best place it can be."

Wilson is the first black woman to be Ocala’s city manager and was appointed early June after serving as interim city manager.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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