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John Gilstrap bid farewell as mayor earlier this week at the business meeting of City Council, saying, “I truly love this city, and it has been a joy, pleasure and privilege to serve as long as I have.”
Gilstrap’s tenure as mayor and council member will end on June 30. He did not seek re-election earlier this year.
“It has been an absolute pleasure working with you,” Gilstrap told the other members of City Council at the close of Tuesday night’s meeting. “Have we had our differences? Yes we have. Have we remained friends? Yes we have.
“I appreciate each one of you. I appreciate your position (on issues), even though it may be different than mine. I appreciate you sharing your differences because I really believe by sharing our differences is how we grow Danville and how we reach the best conclusions and resolve problems.”
To the citizens of Danville, Gilstrap said, “I have met (during his career in public service) a lot of good people, and I appreciate every relationship I have had with our citizens and enjoyed working with you and for you.”
Gilstrap has served as mayor since July 1, 2016. The positions of mayor and vice mayor are selected from the sitting City Council members. Gilstrap was elected to City Council in 2010 and won re-election to another four-year term in 2014.
A graduate of Clemson University and an Army veteran, Gilstrap came to Danville in 1972 when hired as assistant director of Parks and Recreation. He later became director and served in that role for about 30 years. Following that, he served as executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Danville Area before retiring. He also has served on the boards of numerous organizations while in Danville.
His seat on City Council will be taken by Adam Tomer, who was elected to a four-year term in May. In that race, Council members James Buckner, Alonzo Jones and Dr. Gary Miller won re-election to four-year terms.
Tomer will take his seat on City Council during an organizational meeting of City Council to be held at noon on Monday, July 2, in the Council Chambers at the Municipal Building. He will join Buckner, Jones, Miller and the other five members of City Council in choosing a mayor and vice mayor to serve for a two-year term.