Mobile City Council honors outgoing members

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Tuesday marked the last regular Mobile city council meeting for three long-time members.

Fred Richardson, Bess Rich, and John Williams have served on the city council for a cumulative total of 58 years. As they said their goodbyes Tuesday morning, they all said they were confident in the city’s future.

“We have just made so much progress,” said outgoing city council member Fred Richardson.

It was a bittersweet meeting, the city sent the outgoing members off with a proclamation and a thank you for the work they’ve done during their tenures.

“As being a councilmember, building consensus does move our city forward, and protecting our neighbors which really is the essence and just the whole soul of our city,” said outgoing city council member Bess Rich.

Richardson served District 1 for 25 years. He left to run for mayor but ultimately lost to incumbent Mayor Sandy Stimpson. John Williams sat in the District 4 seat for 14 years and announced last year he wouldn’t seek reelection. Bess Rich also made the announcement last year she wouldn’t run again for city council. She served as a representative of the city’s sixth district from 1993-2001 and has currently served since 2010.

“I think we all walk away, we each walk away with great pride that we’ve done our best,” said Williams. He continued, “it’s going to be a bright future in Mobile.”

The future of the council will include four new members and three returning members.

“We’re passing the baton on to them, we hope they can keep this progress going,” said Richardson.

One of the final things they voted for was moving $30 million to contribute to the relocation of Mobile’s passenger airport to Brookley Aeroplex in downtown Mobile. The vote was unanimous.

The new council members will be sworn in during next week’s city council meeting. This is the largest turnover in recent memory.

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