LILBURN - Mayor Jack R. Bolton bade an emotional farewell here Monday night to the city of Lilburn following 19 years of service, including the past four years as mayor.
"I'm a little sad to leave the council, and I'll miss working with these people on a daily basis," Bolton told a packed audience at his final city council meeting. "But now it's time for me to step aside."
"I am relieved and look forward to my free time," he said, adding he hopes to use his skills and experience with the city in future endeavors.
Bolton began his career with the city in 1988 on the Zoning and Appeals Board, continued as a member of the Planning Commission and City Council. He was elected mayor in 2004.
Bolton decided not to seek re-election in 2007, opting instead to retire. During the council meeting, Bolton's successor, Mayor-Elect Diana Preston, presented the outgoing mayor with a proclamation honoring him for his years of service with the city. Preston defeated City Councilman Ken Swaim in the recent election for mayor.
Outgoing Councilman Swaim, who served in his council position for four years, was presented a proclamation from Bolton for his service. "As a member of the City Council, I would like to thank each of you for letting me serve you," Swaim said. "It's been an eye-opening experience for me and I urge you to please continue to support your city."
Major accomplishments listed by Bolton under his administration were the multi-use trail, which he considered his best achievement; the streetscape project; and the creation of the Economic Development Council to oversee multi-use development projects.
"When I moved to Lilburn 25 years ago, I never imagined I'd be on the City Council, much less mayor," Bolton said. "It's been a long journey, but fortunately, there haven't been many bumps. We've watched Lilburn change to a bustling community."
In the last year of his tenure, the most controversial topic was the City Council banning karaoke and pool playing at Lilburn sports bars.
The City Council also unanimously approved closing the City Hall offices and Police Department Administrative offices to the public on Jan. 21 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
In other action, the Council:
' Authorized the city manager to execute an agreement between the city and the Georgia Department of Transportation regarding the Lilburn Camp Creek Greenway Project, which awarded $600,000 to the city.
' Authorized the submission of the countywide 10-year update to the Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan to the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.