PLANT CITY A longtime commissioner and educator has been named Plant City's first female mayor in more than two decades.
Mary Mathis was selected Monday by her colleagues to serve as mayor for the next year. The city's five commissioners chose a mayor each June from their own ranks.
Mathis said she was honored to serve and said she'd give it "110 percent."
She is the first female mayor in Plant City since Sadye Martin, who held the office in 1985-89 and 1991-92. Martin was the only female to serve in the office in the city's more than 120-year history.
Mathis was elected as a commissioner in 2000. She took the commission seat that Martin held until her death in late 1999.
Mathis, 55, is an assistant principal at Marshall Middle School in Plant City. Her husband of nine years, Tony, was by her side as she took the oath of office of mayor.
Commissioner Mike Sparkman, who served as mayor for the last year, and his other commissioners praised Mathis for her work on the city commission. Sparkman said he was willing to serve another term as mayor but he was not nominated.
Sparkman said he didn't mind handing over the gavel as the mayor's job is very time-consuming.