Mrs. Birrell, who works as a community relations manager for Waste Management in Cherokee, was sworn on Monday afternoon in as District 3 Cobb Commissioner before a packed crowd of more than 200 people.
"This is quite an honor," Mrs. Birrell, who serves on the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, said after being sworn in. "I am so excited to be here. It's been a tough fight, a long journey, and I am honored to be a public servant and really excited to be on a team with such wonderful leaders who have done a great job."
She was elected to the four-year post after defeating architect Stephen Moon in the July primary and winning a runoff against business consultant Earl Stine in August. The seat was held by Tim Lee, who vacated the seat in April to run, successfully, for chairman of the Board of Commissioners. Thea Powell has been serving as interim commissioner.
"She's honest, has a high level of integrity, is very thorough and very open to other ideas and positions," said Lee, adding that he's known Mrs. Birrell through community groups for about eight years. "I'm excited to having her on board and looking forward to working with her."
Cobb Magistrate Court Judge Joan Bloom conducted the swearing in ceremony at Mrs. Birrell's request, with Mrs. Birrell's husband, David, holding the Bible on which she placed her right hand while reciting the commissioner's oath.
Mrs. Birrell thanked her friends in the audience, campaign committee members and several family members in attendance for their "love and support" after she was officially sworn in. County Manager David Hankerson said Mrs. Birrell had already been actively involved in understanding county matters after being elected in August and told staff members to expect "a lot of work."
The county meeting room was standing room only. Those in attendance included former chairman and newly-elected Attorney General Sam Olens, Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren, Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews, Marietta City Councilman Van Pearlberg, Cobb Public Safety Director and Fire Chief Sam Heaton, Cobb Police Chief John Houser, all three of the county commissioners and Lee, Northwest Georgia YWCA Director Holly Comer, Superior Court Judge Jim Bodiford, several county staff members, Cobb Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Connell, Cobb Republican Women President Barbara Hickey, Cobb Planning Commission Member Christi Trombetti, newly-elected Cobb District 1 State Court Judge Jason Fincher and Smyrna City Councilman Wade Lnenicka.