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Mayor Alonzo Jones last night recognized the City’s seven living former mayors, saying because of their dedication, determination, leadership and service that City Council today “stands on the shoulders of giants.”
The seven former living mayors are Seward Anderson, John Gilstrap, John Hamlin, Sam Kushner, Sherman Saunders, Wayne Williams, and Linwood Wright.
“Scripture says we are to ‘give honor to whom honor is due,’” Jones said at Tuesday’s meeting of City Council. “The City of Danville is on the move. Great things are happening, and that is because of giants like you.”
Jones, who on July 1 became the 43rd person to hold the office of mayor since 1833, said he wants a partnership with the former mayors.
“As a City Council, we have established three key strategies: reduce violent crime, support education and grow Danville,” Jones said. “I have asked that we add “partnerships’ to that list. We cannot move forward without strong partnerships.”
Kushner served as mayor from 1984 to 1986; Anderson, 1986 to 1996; Wright, 1996 to 1998; Hamlin, 2000 to 2006; Williams, 2006 to 2007; Saunders, 2008 to 2016; and Gilstrap, 2016 to 2018. All but Williams, who lives out of state, were present last night.
Kushner expressed the sentiment of all the former mayors present to serve in partnership with the current City Council and city staff.
“I cannot think of a single experience in my mature life that was more meaningful than serving on City Council,” Kushner said. “Mayor (Jones) I thank you for the spotlight that you have given us. One of the greatest joys in life can be community service. I would encourage people in the city who love Danville as much as those here tonight in this chamber to make a commitment to the city whether that is through public office or making a contribution great or small to a civic project.”
Each received a certificate of recognition during the City Council meeting. A reception was held prior to the City Council meeting.
The office of mayor is not an elected position. A sitting City Council chooses one of its members to serve a two-year term as mayor.