Mayor Hatley presents plaques to former Mayor Gilleland.
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
"I still call him Johnny," said Lincolnton's new mayor Ed Hatley as he presented his predecessor John Gilleland with two plaques and a rocking chair, going away gifts from the city he had served for six years.
"His father hired me as a teacher when I first came to Lincolnton," said Hatley. "He was the John Gilleland I knew, and you were...and always will be to me...Johnny."
Gilleland noted that Hatley later hired him as a substitute teacher.
Gilleland decided not to seek re-election, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family and needed it for his real estate business. He will continue to be involved in community affairs serving with the Chamber of Commerce.
Hatley then recognized Larry Mac Hovis, who lost his bid for re-election to Roby Jetton in the November election for Ward IV City Councilman. Hatley said Hovis had truly dedicated his life to Lincolnton, serving 25 years as a volunteer fireman before putting in twenty years as a City Councilman.
Hovis said he had contradicted a former fire chief who had said Lincolnton would one day have a paid full-time fire department. "Now we've even got a second station in Boger City," Hovis said. He commended city employees and especially City Manager Jeff Emory for their service. "We've got the best city employees anywhere," Hovis said, "saying that it was their dedication and hard work that had enabled him and other members of the council to avoid raising taxes for many years.
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