City leaders say farewell after decades of service

Marilyn Tennissen Jun. 1, 2007, 4:00am

Former Beaumont Mayor Guy Goodson thanked supporters at a farewell reception on May 31. Goodson and three council members, including Dr. Lulu Smith, right, are leaving city government after decades of service.

The city of Beaumont said goodbye May 31 to a group of public servants that had a combined total of 68 in city government.

A reception was held in the newly renovated Julie Rogers Theater to honor council members Andrew Cokinos, Dr. Lulu Smith and Bobbie Patterson and outgoing mayor Guy Goodson.

Cokinos served as council member at large for 21 years, Smith as council member for Ward II for 20 years and Patterson in Ward IV for 12. Goodson served on the council for 12 years before his two-year term as mayor.

Under the sparkling chandeliers of the historic theater, the city leaders were recognized by Mayor Becky Ames, who was elected in May after Goodson chose not to run for reelection. Ames said the success of the elected officials was evident in the current growth in the city of Beaumont.

Smith said she didn't know what she would do with her time after 20 years on the council, but Ames assured the crowd that she would still be active with the city serving as liaison for the arts.

Patterson said she was proud of the accomplishments the council made with children and schools during her tenure.

And though she was defeated in May by Jamie Smith, she vows she will not stop her dedication to her community.

"Once in public service, always in public service," Patterson said.

Andrew Cokinos did not seek reelection to his post because of declining health, and at Thursday's event his brother Gen. Mike Cokinos accepted accolades and offered gratitude on behalf of his brother.

But it was former mayor Goodson who fought back emotion as he thanked the city employees, former elected officials and other supporters.

"Nothing happens on this council without the men and women of every city department," Goodson said.

He remembered fondly the many mentors that encouraged him throughout his days in public service, which began when he was appointed to complete an un-expired term of a council member that moved.

"Andrew Cokinos pushed for my appointment. I am on this council because of Andrew," Goodson said.

Goodson said he was confident that Beaumont had an exceptional group of leaders for the future.

The departing elected officials received personal gifts and proclamations from Chad King, field representative of U.S. Rep. Ted Poe.

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