Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The End of the Road

Tonight was my last regularly scheduled city council meeting as mayor. There is a special meeting on Thursday and a work session on next Tuesday and then I am done. The new mayor and council will be sworn in at the meeting on the 24th. Of course I found out tonight that the new council wants me to be there on the 24th - probably to give me my "Thanks for your service" plaque.

It has been and is amusing the way people seek you out just to say "hi, mayor" one last time at this stage of the game. I went to the store at noon today to do some grocery shopping and thought I was never going to get through the store. All the "hi mayor" and the stopping and visiting made the path through the store seem endless. I have been surprised by the number of people that have come up to me and thanked me for doing a great job. Many of them proclaim me to be the best mayor we have ever had. (I wonder if that isn't the case with any departing official - after all, what are they going to do? Walk up to you and exorcise you from top to bottom and then proclaim you were the worst mayor in history?) It does make me wonder what it will be like when I am well and truly gone from office.

The council meeting tonight was short and sweet. Mostly because of a short agenda with only a brief executive session to slow things down. One of the representatives from the press thanked us loudly for making it a short meeting. (That is because she is a reporter for the weekly paper which is published overnight for Wednesday delivery. Her Tuesday nights run well into Wednesday morning every week.)

One of the traditions we have is to allow outgoing council members five minutes to soliloquize on any topic they wish at their last regular meeting. I kept mine semi-short and to the point:
  • Thank you to the citizens of the city and surrounding area for being so supportive and willing to work to accomplish so much.
  • Thank you to the employees of the city because they embraced our emphasis on customer service and did the real work.
  • Thank you to my fellow city council members. I was fortunate to have essentially the same council for all three terms as mayor. That allowed us to work together to accomplish many things, including long term goals that might not otherwise have beem possible.
  • Thank you to the city manager for being so easy to work with and so capable. And because at every meeting over the years he has turned to me and whispered that he forgot his pen and could he borrow mine, I hereby give him my old pen that I always lent to him. (It is a measure of a good manager that through all three terms as mayor he always gave it back after borrowing it. {*grin*})
  • Thank you to Frank and Gloria Walsh and the Walsh Family for all that they have done and given to the city and the community. Their presence and gifts to the community have made my job that much easier.
  • A very heartfelt thank you to my wife and son for their support. The time when the city council meeting was on my birthday and they brought cake so we could still celebrate was very special.
  • Finally, I want to wish all the best to the new council and mayor. I hope they can accomplish as much in the coming years as we have in the past.

I figure that is a pretty good way to say it all.

Time to get going, the early morning trek down to the radio station has to happen one more time.


  1. Wow...I couldn't have said it better. What will you do with all your free time now?

  2. My favorite is the city manager. So glad you bequeathed your pen to him. Such a thoughtful gift!

  3. Great speech. Short and too the point.

    Has it hit you yet? Will it be a relief?


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