The morning of Mayor Wetherington’s last City Council meeting proved to be icy, but the feeling inside the Council was anything but. The chambers were filled with those not only on the Public agenda, but also those who wanted to wish the outgoing Mayor well.
With an opening prayer by the Mayor’s own pastor, Dr. Geoff Hammond, the pledge was lead by students from Rothschild Middle School. The CSU Basketball team was first on the agenda with a resolution commending the team on their win over Auburn University.
Next, Evelyn Turner Pugh commended Councilor Julius Hunter for his time on council with a resolution. Mayor Wetherington presented with Councilor Hunter with a new tennis bag, as he is an avid tennis player. Bruce Huff is succeeding Hunter. Huff was present at yesterday’s meeting, as was Mayor-elect Teresa Tomlinson.
Councilor Gary Allen read a resolution commending Councilor Wayne Anthony for his time on council. Councilor Anthony stood as the resolution was read. Mayor Wetherington spoke of Councilor Anthony’s big heart and his service to our community. He presented the resolution to Anthony, as well as a lovely clock. Anthony successor is Judy Thomas who was present as well.
Councilor Skip Henderson had the privilege of reading the resolution commending Mayor Wetherington for his four years in office. Mayor Wetherington was asked to step down from his seat and come to the podium where his wife Shirley joined him. “It’s all about customer service,” said Wetherington. “How we treat the people that we serve, it is the most important thing. We are making strides to be better people in how we serve the people of this community. I want to say thank you to all the employees of this city government. We have a ways to go, but for the most part, we have done a great job. You folks who sit here on Council are to be commended. I told you when I made my announcement, that I see a rest stop. I think we are going to pull over and rest for a bit.” Councilor Red McDaniel presented the mayor with a beautiful silver plate. Councilor Pops Barnes read an email written by Frank Myers, a long time Democrat in Columbus who worked with Wetherington during his 2006 campaign for Mayor. He wrote of the Mayor’s forfeiting over $200,000 and placing on hold his city retirement plan. He wrote of the Mayor’s service and dedication to the city in a personal and touching manner.
Mayor Wetherington welcomed the two new councilors to their new seats and spoke highly of Mayor-Elect Tomlinson and her energy. “In the two weeks that I have worked with her I have watched her come in early and leave late. This is not a part-time job. This is a full-time job, if you do it right. And I know that she will do it right and serve our community well.”
Mayor Wetherington has shown Columbus what true leadership is all about. He is to be commended for his four years in the Mayor’s office. Columbus has benefited from Jim Wetherington’s service for years and even though he is pulling over at that rest stop, I am convinced that Columbus will continue to benefit from what I am sure will be continued service to our community.
Thank you, Mayor Wetherington, Councilor Anthony, and Councilor Hunter. Your legacies are large ones and ones that will be easy to remember.