Huntsville City Council Chambers was crowded Tuesday night, as newly elected Dalene Zender took her oath of office for Position 1 At-large, following her win Saturday over Gary Crawford.

County Judge Danny Pierce presided over the swearing in ceremony, after which, council gave Zender standing applause.

Zender will replace longtime Councilman and Mayor Pro-tem Steed Smith, who chose not to run for re-election.

Zender joined the rest of council in selecting Councilman Jack Choate as mayor pro-tem, which was necessary after Smith’s exodus.

Councilman Mickey Evans and Jim Willett did not attend the special session.

Also on Tuesday, city manager Kevin Evans told councilmembers they would have copies of the proposed budget in-hand today in order to prepare for a budget session Friday.

He said “Back to Basics II” will be another trimming-the-fat-type budget for the coming fiscal year.

“I’m more excited about this budget than any I’ve ever been a part of,” he said.

Council will begin the budget process Friday in council chambers at City Hall, 1212 Avenue M, at 8:30 a.m. It is open to the public.