CEDAR CITY — Last week, during their final Cedar City Council meeting before leaving office, outgoing Mayor Maile Wilson-Edwards and Councilman Ron Adams both expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to serve as elected officials.
Adams, who is finishing his third term on the City Council, thanked the city’s employees, whom he called his second family.
“I’ve acquired 100-plus family members over the past 12 years,” he said during remarks at the beginning of the Dec. 8 meeting. “I appreciate all that you do for this city.”
Adams also expressed his appreciation for Wilson-Edwards, who has served two four-year terms as mayor since being elected in 2013.
“(She) put us on the map by being the youngest mayor and the first woman mayor in Cedar City,” Adams said.
Adams also thanked his fellow council members, both past and present. Although it wasn’t uncommon for there to be differences of opinion among council members, he said, “When we’re done, we can go out and have a Coke together.”
Adams also thanked his family members for their support, especially his wife, Michal.
“She’s retiring also,” added Adams, who did not seek re-election this year.
After Adams’ remarks, Wilson-Edwards presented him with a commemorative award recognizing his 12 years of service.
“On behalf of Cedar City and the countless individuals you’ve worked with and served, I want to present to you this token of appreciation for the 12 years of dedicated service you’ve provided to our city,” Wilson-Edwards said as she handed the award to Adams.
“You’ve been a constant steward for the community and diligently served the city,” she added. “You are leaving a true legacy and will be missed by the city staff, administration and the community at large.”
Later, as the two-hour meeting wound to a close, it was Wilson-Edwards’ turn to reflect on her own tenure as an elected official.
“Eight years ago, this incredible community allowed me the opportunity of a lifetime: to serve as your mayor,” she said as she began her remarks.
“I have been so honored that you placed your trust in me for the two terms I served, and hope you know that I worked day in and day out on behalf of each of you and our community as a whole,” Wilson-Edwards added.
The mayor also took time to thank city staff, council members and members of the community. She also mentioned by name several of her own family members and thanked them for their support.
To her husband Jayson and their young daughter McKinley, Wilson-Edwards said, “Thank you both for never complaining about the never-ending phone calls and emails especially the 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. phone calls, the late night council meetings and never knowing when I will get home.”
Wilson-Edwards, who narrowly lost her bid for reelection in November to challenger Garth O. Green, also offered a few words of wisdom for her successor.
“To our incoming administration, I hope you know that this job and this chair isn’t a title,” she said. “It is a way to give back to our community. It is merely a vessel to serve the public. To be somebody that is there. You will have every walk of life walk in the door and you were there to listen and to help and to come to solutions. That is what a mayor does.”
Following Wilson-Edwards’ remarks, Councilman R. Scott Phillips then took a few minutes to thank the mayor for her service.
“I speak for myself and my fellow council members when we express to you our profound gratitude and thanks for a job well done,” Phillips said.
“It has been a personal pleasure of mine and I know of many in this room to proudly call you Mayor each day for the past eight years,” he added. “Often you would say to me, ‘Don’t call me Mayor. I’m just Maile.’ However, I quietly and gracefully disagreed. You are the mayor and you earned that title and privilege due to the will of the voters some eight years ago.”
Phillips then highlighted numerous milestones and accomplishments that Cedar City has achieved during Wilson-Edwards’ tenure.
“You did it all to make our city better today than it was before. You provided leadership to the city,” he said. “You taught us all to listen, treat each other with respect and look for common ground. You led with grace, diplomacy, and confidence.”
“We know this is goodbye for you as mayor from these hallowed council chambers,” Phillips added. “But we also know that your future is bright, and your skills and your determination that brought you to this position will now guide you into your next adventure. It has been our honor to know you, work with you and learn from you. Godspeed, Mayor Maile Wilson-Edwards.”
Green is scheduled to officially take over the reins as Cedar City’s mayor on Jan. 3 during a swearing-in ceremony scheduled for noon in the City Council chambers. Joining him in taking the oath of office will be Ronald Riddle, who was elected to take over Adams’ City Council seat, and Phillips, who successfully won election to a second term on the council.
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