I wanted with my last post to take a moment and tell all of you how thankful I am that you allowed me to serve you these last four years. It has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. It has given me a chance to make positive change on a scale that I never thought I would have and to meet some of the most humble, thoughtful and positive neighbors, public officials, and staff.
My last vote this week finalized the $6.2 million aquatics center at Harry Stone that will go live next year. This goes with the ongoing revitalization of the Casa View Shopping Center and its corridor on both sides of Ferguson. These changes are going to transform an area that has been under served for years and is one example of something I'll look back years from now and be able to say I did some good in my community. I would've never been given that opportunity if you guys didn't give me the chance to have the check book for a few terms. Thank you.
I wish my successor Paula Blackmon the best as she takes on this amazing privilege. It's a wonderful job for all the reasons I mentioned and even more that I haven't. It's also very tough and she is going to face challenges and unfunded mandates that I never had to deal with. District 9 is also a smart, well informed and neighborhood centric district that expects more of its officials than some other communities. The bar is set very high. I'm thankful that you guys have always been very kind to me even when you were frustrated. I hope she experiences the same civility, wit, sarcastic civil protests (i.e occasional rubber duckies in our unattended lazy rivers that we created among major thoroughfares while doing roadwork) that I got to see. The hardest days were made better because the customers I served had perspective and class. I'm probably most thankful for that in an era of social media that allows for our worst parts to be expressed and the first opinion that resembles the possibility to be a fact is amplified, shared liked and retweeted.
I'm now going back to having one job and my staff already is sick of me. My wife saw a letter today that said the Honorable Mark Clayton and I reminded her that's a thing like an honorary degree. I think her life force drained knowing that for the next 30 years I'll be able to tell her about my glory days like the high school athlete who peaked every time I get bulk mail asking for a donation. She can't escape it.
She's the most talented, smart and beautiful person I've ever met and would've been 100 times better than me at this job. I know that because we both do the same job now and she is always, always better than me. But the best part of her is she would never say it and you would never know it. She put up with four years of me getting to act like a big deal when she lives with my Dad jokes, inability to look down for anything and my amazing capacity to have laundry pile up in front of me like the Maginot Line. She's the talent but will now get an occasional reminder via mail that her blockhead husband once had a pretty cool job thanks to all of you.
I love you guys and I love that you trusted me with a gift that I can't ever repay. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm going on vacation now!
National Lampoon's Vacation Running Scene