Tyler’s mayor and three city council representatives took their oaths of office Wednesday and said farewell, but not goodbye, to two old friends.
Outgoing District 2 Councilman Donald Sanders received a standing ovation during Wednesday’s city council meeting and kind words from his contemporaries, who described him as a passionate and devoted leader.
The gathering also included praise and a special mayor’s proclamation for the city’s Chief Financial Officer Daniel Crawford, who retires next week after 16 years of service.
Both men said it was hard to step away, but they are grateful for the opportunity to have served.
Sanders was unable to run for office again due to term limits.
On Wednesday, officials conducted an official canvass of the votes: Bowdre received 126; the Rev. Charles Burns, 52; and Sarah Coats, 67.
Mayor Barbara Bass, District 4 Tyler City Councilman Martin Heines and District 6 Councilman Jason Wright, also sworn into office Wednesday, had no challengers.
The mayor said she appreciated Sanders’ endless drive to represent his constituents.
“Six years of his life went to serving his district,” the mayor said. “He put his heart and soul into his district. It’s always nostalgic to have someone rolling off, but it’s an exciting day for our new city councilman.”
Councilman Ralph Caraway agreed.
Sam Mezayek, representing District 1, said it’s difficult to find someone who cares so much for their district. Wright said he appreciates people who care enough to get involved and stay involved.
Heines, rarely without words, said Sanders was a loyal public servant.
“I’m speechless,” he said. “You served your constituents very well.”
Sanders said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve.
“God is a good God,” Sanders said, “Truly, it was He and the staff and the good people of the city of Tyler” who made it possible.
Newcomer Bowdre, joined by his mother, wife and other relatives, said he’s looking forward to serving the community.