SYLACAUGA, Ala. – It was an emotional morning at the last regularly scheduled Sylacauga City Council meeting for outgoing council members. Rocky Lucas, Billy Carden, Tom Roberts, and Joe Hogan voted on several resolutions after Mayor Doug Murphree addressed the public one final time. Shannon Darby did not attend.

“To the council: I have enjoyed working with you guys,” said Murphree. “I think we had a good term. To the City of Sylacauga, it’s been an honor to serve.”

Murphree, after spending 20 years in city government, was defeated by mayor-elect Jim Heigl. Murphree took time to mention several items that were accomplished during his time in on the city council, as well as mayor, including working out deals with Home Depot, Nemak, and Honda along with building Nichols-Lawson Middle School, and helping renovate the B.B. Comer Library and City Hall.

“I have enjoyed it. I have made a lot of friends. I just want everyone to know that it has been a great ride. Thank y’all,” Murphree said tearfully. A standing ovation ensued.

Members of the council took turns addressing the public starting with Councilman Hogan.

“I’ve worked to increase revenues and as well as to improve citizens’ quality of life for generations to come,” said Hogan. “I’ve worked to make sure City employees were taken care of and felt like they were cared about…I thank you for the opportunity. My prayers are with you. God bless you, your family, and our city.”

“I appreciate the people who have voted for me the first and the last time. I appreciate all the people who have stepped up to take our place and wish you all a bunch of love,” said Carden.

“Thank you for the opportunity to serve. Very sincere best wishes and good luck. A lot of prayers for incoming City officials. If you need anything, holler. I think any of us would step up and help in any way we can. Thank you,” said Roberts.

Lucas, council president, talked about how much he grew in the world of city government in four short years and wished the incoming council members the very best.

“Do what you think is best for the City of Sylacauga,” said Lucas. He thanked the City Clerk’s office for helping guide him in his role. “I feel like we’ve left you guys and girls in pretty good shape from a budgetary standpoint…it’s yours,” he said to the incoming members. “Sometimes what’s popular is not always right and sometimes what’s right is not always popular. But I would urge you to do the right thing regardless if it is popular or not,” he said.

Several items were resolved during the last meeting including approval for participation in 2017’s Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday, application for a new pumper truck for the fire department, grant pre-application for the Airport Improvement Project, approval of $5,000 to the Chamber of Commerce to cover cost associated with sponsorship and promotional expenses for a bass fishing tournament, and a $5,000 match to the Alabama Spay and Neuter Clinic.

The new mayor and city council members will be sworn in at 10:00 a.m. Monday, Nov. 7 at Sylacauga City Hall.

Michael Brannon for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2016, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Michael Brannon is a former news and sports anchor from Mobile, Ala. and serves as Director of Business Development, Manager of Digital Projects and Strategy, and Managing Editor of SylacaugaNews.com.