Two distinguished gentlemen said goodbye to the Washington C.H. City Council on Monday evening following many years of city service.
Ben Roby, council chairman, and Steve Jennings both served on the city council for 12 years, and were both instrumental in the composition and adoption of the city’s current charter. At Monday’s regular council meeting, both men were honored by all in attendance and were presented with plaques for their service and commitment to the City of Washington C.H.
“Steve and I served on the charter commission together, and 12 years ago this past November, the charter passed and we were elected to serve on the city council,” said Roby. “It’s really been a pleasure to have served my 12 years with Steve Jennings. The more I see of him, the more solid he is as a person. I consider him a true friend and I want to thank him for his service to the city for many years…as a policeman, as a member of the charter commission and now 12 years on council.”
Jennings said it was truly an honor for him to be elected to his three terms on council. “It was a real privilege to serve the citizens of the city for 12 years from this seat,” he said. “I really enjoy the work. I have nothing I regret in the past 12 years. As an entire group, everyone in this room, I think we’ve accomplished a lot in 12 years and I think we have our city on very firm ground for the years ahead. I walk out of here with confidence that it will continue that way with the new folks on council. That’s what we need, new folks, new ideas and perhaps a new direction. Thanks to each and everyone of you.”
Before presenting Roby with a plaque, city council vice chairman Dale Lynch spoke of his long friendship with Roby and all of his accomplishments over the years.
“Ben has been an important part of serving this city for a long time,” said Lynch. “I also wanted to mention Mrs. Jennings and Mrs. Roby. Because they, as wives, and it would be true of husbands too, have to also put up with a lot in terms of husbands and wives being gone when they serve the city. Ladies, I think you also deserve some recognition tonight.”
Lynch also presented Roby with a plaque for his service as council chairman. Both Roby and Jennings each served four years as council chairman over the past 12 years.
Roby, who decided this was his last term on council, said one final goodbye and also wished the two new council members well in the future. Trent Dye and Kendra Redd-Hernandez were elected, as well as incumbent Jim Chrisman, at the November general election.
“It has indeed been a pleasure to serve on council and represent the citizens of Washington Court House for 12 years,” said Roby. “I know that you two new people are going to have the opportunity now to carry the ball. Respect the community and they’ll respect you. I know you both personally and I think you’ll do a great job. And I’m looking forward to standing back and watching you.”
During her invocation, city council member Kim Bonnell referred to Jennings as a “kind, thoughtful and inspiring leader for our community.” Of Roby, she said, “Ben Roby has always been a presence in my life…..a family friend, a teacher, a mentor and a colleague.”
Look for more on Monday’s city council meeting in the Wednesday edition of the Record-Herald.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica.