Horn Lake aldermen

Horn Lake bid farewell to three long-serving Aldermen on Tuesday.

Horn Lake bid farewell to a trio of long-serving Board of Aldermen members on Tuesday, thanking them for their years of service to the city.

Alderman At-Large Donnie “Chigger” White, Ward 4 Alderman Charlie Roberts, and Ward 6 Alderman John Jones were all present for their last board meeting and reflected on their time serving the city.

Mayor Allen Latimer presented them with certificates and said all three worked diligently for the city.

“We may not always agree on different subjects, different matters, and different approaches, but we had the best interests of the citizens and the city at heart,” Latimer said.

White, who spent 45 years as a public servant, said although he is retiring from the board, he will continue to work to help make Horn Lake a better place to live. White chose to run for mayor, but lost to Latimer in the Republican primary.

“It’s not going to end,” White said. “We’re just going to put it on pause, because old “Chigger” could be back.” 

White said that when he was elected to the board in 2005, the city was broke, but takes great satisfaction knowing he left the city in better shape than when he took office.

“When I was elected, we were stone cold broke,” White said. “We didn’t have a window or a pot. So leaving here now, I think we are in pretty good shape. And the man who is going to sit in this seat is a good man.”

Jones thanked the citizens who trusted him to be their alderman for 16 years.

“I appreciated every bit of it,” Jones said. “I’ve been here since Goodman Road was a dirt road. It’s come a long way since I started out here as a kid running across the cotton fields to go to Herb’s Grocery to get shotgun shells by the shell. They sold them in a box but you could only afford one and you made it count.”

He reiterated what White said about the city’s poor finances in 2005 when the city only had $12.87 in the bank and had to meet payroll on Friday.

“We are leaving you with a lot more than $12.87 in the bank,” Jones said. “This is the first time in a long time that we didn’t have to make a tax anticipation loan. We’ve left you in good shape.”

Jones ended by urging the citizens to hold their elected officials accountable.

“I’m proud that Ward 6 came out with 17 percent of the people who came out to vote,” Jones said. “That's the highest percentage in the city. That’s good. That’s what they need to do. Make them do what they are supposed to do. They are supposed to represent you. You tell them what you want, and if they don’t, then don’t put them back up here, get somebody else.”

Roberts, who served 12 years on the board and lost a bid for a fourth term to David Young in the Republican primary, thanked his fellow board members and the voters for allowing him to represent Ward 4 for eight years.

“I know at times I put you through some testy times, challenging times,” Roberts said. “And yes, mayor, I appreciate you putting up with me and me aggravating you back and forth. I know you hate to admit it, but on several things I was actually right. When people brought issues to me, I tried my best to bring resolve to it. I appreciate the lessons that I learned and the backing you all gave me and the discussions we had to help move this city forward. We may agree to disagree, but we have moved this city forward.”

Roberts said Horn Lake is a great city, but warned against further voter apathy. Horn Lake voter turn out was a record 16 percent.

“Our voter apathy is terrible,” Roberts said. “I would encourage people over the next four years to get out and vote. Let’s identify voter apathy. Let’s correct voter apathy. We should have more than  17 percent in two wards voting. Let’s continue to progress. Let’s not regress. Let’s get people involved because that’s what it’s all about. We are all here to make it better.”

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