HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After a combined 28 years on the Hattiesburg City Council, Ward 1 Councilman Kim Bradley and Ward 5 Councilman Henry Naylor ended their terms at Tuesday's council meeting.
Naylor served the city for a total of 23 years. He represented Ward 5 on the council for 16 and spent 7 working in Hattiesburg's planning department as a community and neighborhood specialist to build and develop what is now the Hattiesburg Council of Neighborhoods.
"Certainly want to thank the residents of Hattiesburg Ward 5 for allowing me to serve," Naylor said. "I think the council is left in good hands with those that's coming on and the new administration. I'd also like the thank the outgoing administration, so, again, thank you for everything. Looking forward to the things that's going good for Hattiesburg in the future."
Bradley spent 12 years representing Ward 1 on the council and more than a decade as council president.
"I do want to step away from this and let you know that I do appreciate the opportunity to serve," Bradley said. "It was tough at times, but we were all together at times. We worked together to try to make things the best that they could be. We didn't always agree, but, you know, I made relationships that I'll hold forever 'til the day I die. I know you don't always agree with me, and I don't always agree with you. But we were here for a bigger reason, and that was for the City of Hattiesburg. I was so proud to be given the opportunity to serve, to share with what I thought I could give. I guess the jury's still out on whether it's successful or not successful. I guess time will tell one day, but it doesn't really matter because I know in my heart I gave all that I had."
Both received official proclamations recognizing their strengths.
Naylor's noted "his ability to take sometimes complicated decisions and distill them until he has revealed and conveyed the key points, his understanding of people and his steadfast belief in in unity, both on the council and in the community."
Bradley's recognized "what became to be Kim Bradley's signature leadership style: hard work and a fast, almost relentless, pace, a determination to stay on budget, a sense of humor, an ongoing friendship demeanor and an unshakable faith in God."
"Today (Tuesday) is a little bittersweet because I did enjoy working with Kim and Henry," said Carter Carroll, Hattiesburg City Council president. "I've worked with Henry for 16 years, Kim for 12 years, and you get to know how someone thinks and how they feel. It's very easy to work with them when you've been (with them) that long."
Carroll said he's also looking forward to welcoming new leadership to the council, and hopes both members and citizens keep open minds.
"It's also exciting that we're going to get some new blood on the council," he said. "Two freshmen that I think are really going to add a lot the council, and we're getting a new mayor. That's an exciting time. I think the next few years are going to be very exciting and very, very progressive. I just think we need to keep an open mind, remember it's a new, fresh time, and I think we need to all redirect and start fresh. That's, I think, the theme of what we should do come inauguration."