After much soul searching and reflection, I have made the decision not to seek a 7th term as mayor of the City of Pineville and will be retiring effective June 30, 2022 upon completion of my current term in office.
Serving as mayor has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I will forever be grateful to the citizens of Pineville for the trust placed in me and my family by first electing me as a city councilman in 1998, six times as mayor with the last four unopposed.
In the spring of this year, I announced my intention to run for re-election and up until recently that was still my plan. However, since the spring, several things have changed in my personal life, including the birth of our third grandson, the marriage of our daughter and the announcement of her first child, all of which have brought to bear on me the value of slowing down and playing a more active part with my wife and in their lives.
Additionally, and even with the best of medical care, many know that my vision has changed. While I still feel capable of leading our city, I do not feel I would be able to give the ‘hands on’ leadership and the service that I pride myself on giving.
We have spent the last 21 years working to assemble a great team of employees who work hard every day to serve, protect and provide the best of services to our beautiful city. It is because of them that I can hand off the mantle of leadership and know that the future of our city is in great hands.
I am very proud of all that has been accomplished in my time as your mayor. From the retention and growth of Proctor and Gamble…to a new wastewater treatment plant that allowed for more commercial and residential development. From the city’s first new elevated water storage tank since the 1950′s...to home grown success stories like the continuing expansions of Crest Industries and Hayes Manufacturing. Pineville is destined for even bigger and better things. I am happy to have had a part in making it happen.
While I will be exiting City Hall at the end of my term and closing this chapter, I plan to stay involved in Pineville and in our community in any way that I can contribute. Between my 22 years with CLECO and my 22 years with the City of Pineville, I have been very blessed with the support of the people I have worked with and the people we have served. I am also grateful for the opportunity to have been Mayor of the city I have called HOME all of my life. I am thankful for my staff, the city employees, and the members of the City Council who have served with me. They have made it a joy to come to work each day because collectively, we have truly worked together for the best interest of our city as a whole.
We all have and still are, growing past the politics, the racial divisions and the criticisms that we are witnessing in our nation. I recently read that when it comes to creating health, stability and unity in a city, an institution or organization it can take years, huge amounts of effort and intentional sacrifice on the part of its citizens or members to reach that goal. On the other hand, it only takes a few moments to cause division, sow seeds of conflict, create disunity and destroy trust. With one bad decision, one harsh word, or one thoughtless action, division can erupt. I pray that Pineville continues to be that ‘city set on a hill whose light cannot be hidden’.
I am especially grateful to my wife Rosa, my children Clarence Jr. and Bethany and my family for the sacrifices and support they have given me through the years. This support has enabled Rosa and I to serve the city we love. Without our faith, and the help of and our friends and family, this journey that God placed us on would not have been possible.
May God continue to bless our great city of Pineville.