It was business as usual during the only December Somerset City Council meeting — except when it came to saying good-bye, at least for now, to one councilor who will be giving his seat up in January.
Ward 4 Councilor Mark Beasley, who has also worked as a teacher in the Somerset School system for more than 20 years, sat as councilor for the last time in his two-year term during the meeting on Monday, Dec. 10. Beasley has served since 2010.
“I’ve had a great run on the council these last two years,” Beasley said during the meeting. “I enjoy being on the council.
“Sometime after I retire (from teaching) in five years, I’d like to try to run for it again,” Beasley added.
Beasley’s challenger in the November general election, James C. “Jimmy” Eastham, who has served on the council before, will begin his term in January.
Beasley served as council-or from 2000 to 2006, and he regained his seat in 2010.
Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler said he appreciated Beasley’s service on the council.
“It’s been a great working relationship,” Girdler said. “(Beasley) totally represents the interests of Somerset.
“I’ve never seen him not to desire to move the city forward,” Girdler added. “ ... We appreciate your service to our community ... and we look forward to you being around and being involved.”
Beasley’s fellow councilors also expressed their appreciation for his work on the council.
“We’ve done a lot of positive things with your help and your ideas,” Councilor Tom Eastham told Beasley.
Councilor Jim Rutherford used Beasley’s departure as an example of the nature of city government.
“It (city council) is always changing,” Rutherford said. “Some of the faces leave, some come back, some never come back again.
“We have to be replaced eventually,” Rutherford said. “We keep these seats in trust ... We’re not all going to be here forever, and we have to do the best we can.”