Mary Cooper brushed tears from her eyes as she reflected on her tenure as a Delta city councilmember. Cooper was appointed to the post in 2005, then twice elected to subsequent four-year terms. Term limits prohibited her from running for re-election this year.
It's been a bumpy ride at times, Cooper said. At one of her first council meetings, she approved the multi-million-dollar transmission line upgrade. She later voted on millions of dollars for the truck bypass. "I've spent a lot more money than I ever dreamed I would have," she said, "but it's been great."
Robert Jurca agreed that serving on council is an eye-opening experience. "I would recommend to any citizen out there, rather than sitting in your armchair and complaining, get involved. It's the best thing you can do for your city."
Jurca, who served on city council for 10 years, added his appreciation for city staff. "You've been amazing. Maybe I haven't come across as a big supporter of you, but I always have been. Thank you for your hard work."
"Amen to all that," said Ray Penick, who is completing a four-year term on his second go-round as a councilmember. "Twelve years of serving the city is enough," he said. "It's time to step aside and let others lead the city in the direction they'd like to see in the future. I just hope that we've been positive influences."
Mayor Ed Sisson presented plaques of appreciation to the outgoing councilmembers. He added his thanks to the newly elected councilmembers who have stepped forward to "take hold of the reins."
"You don't do it for the money, you do it for the pride in your town. It's very gratifying," he said.
Tim Jantz has attended council meetings since he and his wife Ute moved to Delta a couple of years ago. He said all five councilmembers have served the city "with dignity, humility and compassion."
"You've done a helluva job," he told the outgoing councilmembers. "Sometimes you don't get kudos for the job you've done with very little pay, yet you continue to give back to your community by your service."