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.”
Beasley, a father of three children, said he will concentrate on spending time with his family in the coming years.
“Teaching is my second love,” Beasley said. “My first love is those three little guys that I had sitting on the front row the other day.
“They’re the most important thing to me right now and I want to be with them for a few more years until they get older,” Beasley added.
In other news from the Dec. 10 Somerset City Council meeting:
• Councilor Mike New asked that the council conduct a workshop on the city’s building ordinances in an attempt to “put some teeth in our ordinances.”
Girdler said they would organize a workshop for sometime in January.
• Councilor Jerry Burnett asked that the council approve the city’s purchase of a property next to SomerSplash Waterpark on Ky. 2227 for $55,000.
“It would benefit our waterpark sometime, some day,” Burnett said.
The council approved that purchase.
• The council heard the first reading of Ordinance 12-22, which is the annexation of a property at 1690 N. U.S. 27 into the city limits. The council also heard the first reading of Ordinance 12-23, which is the annexation of a property at 4995 West Ky. 80 into the city limits.
The second readings of those ordinances will take place during a January council meeting.