Matt Lasley | News-Gazette
Leitchfield City Council Member Steven Elder (right) officially announced his resignation from City Council during its Monday, June 3 meeting. Elder will vacate his seat following the Monday, June 17 City Council meeting.
In appreciation of Elder's work as a public servant, Mayor William Thomason (left), on behalf of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, presented a plaque naming Elder an official Kentucky Colonel.
Leitchfield City Council Member Steven Elder officially announced his resignation from the Council during its regularly-scheduled Monday, June 3 meeting.
Elder gave a tearful resignation speech in which he thanked the family, friends, and colleagues who helped him instill himself into a community he said gave him a chance to reinvent himself.
“This has been one of the greatest experiences in my life,” Elder said. “Who gets this opportunity? To come to a community, to be welcomed, and to be loved and accepted. What an amazing chapter in my life.”
Elder also provided a number of quotes that had affected how he approached his work as a public official and called Leitchfield’s young people to step up and become involved in their city.
“To steal from Gandhi, but alter it a little, I say, ‘Be the change you want to see in Leitchfield,’” he said. “Stop waiting for ‘them’ to do it…From this day forward, if you want something to change or happen, get involved - be that change…I hope I changed Leitchfield for the best and left it better than I found it. “
Elder also addressed the need for a diverse City Council to better address the needs of all the citizens of Leitchfield.
“There is no such thing as the ‘good ole’ boys’ club.’ I’m proof of that,” Elder said. “How many of you are under the age of 40? How many of you have a business degree? You’ve lost 100% of your Council that has those two attributes. We need a diverse Council. Women, men, retirees, working people, business people, young people.”
“When I was elected, I was 28 years old,” he said. “This is a call to the young people in this community to get involved and take a proactive approach to changing your community.”
On what Elder said he will “probably be remembered the most,” the Restaurant Tax, he said, “We should have presented it in a better way, and maybe it would have gone over a little more smoothly. Nonetheless, the value and future value of the investments that money will be felt for generations to come, and I sit here now so proud to have voted, initiated, and fought for the revenue that provides the funding for our festivals, parks and new pool.”
“I really feel like sometimes, leadership is planting trees under whose shade you’ll never sit,” he continued. “It may not happen fully until I’m gone, but I know that the steps we’re taking are the right steps.”
Elder concluded his speech by expressing his gratitude to the citizens for whom he served.
“To the people of Leitchfield and Grayson County, I say, ‘Thank you,’” he said. “The life that you provided for my family cannot be put into words…all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you. God bless you all.”
After his speech, Elder received a plaque naming him an official Kentucky Colonel from Leitchfield Mayor William Thomason, on behalf of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.
On Elder’s work as a public official, Thomason said, “I really appreciate you. The community has been well-served.”
Elder served five years on the City Council and will vacate his seat following the Monday, June 17 City Council meeting, during which he will receive a key to the City.
After the June 17 meeting, the remaining City Council members will have 30 days to appoint Elder’s replacement.
During the meeting, City Council Member Jerry Schlosser motioned to fill Elder’s soon-to-be-vacant Council seat with Margie Decker, who ran in the 2012 City Council election and came in seventh place; however, a replacement may not be appointed until after Elder’s last day on June 17.