ONE LAST MEETING: Peyton reflects on 6 years as Hustonville Mayor
Published 9:50 am Friday, December 7, 2018
HUSTONVILLE — For some elected officials the end of the year means the end of a term and for David Peyton, it means the end of a six-year stint as Hustonville’s mayor.
It was six years and three months ago when Peyton attended his first Hustonville City Council meeting. It was the same night that the city council voted and passed three ordinances concerning parking time-limits, jaywalking and face-shielding.
“I left the meeting that evening and thought, ‘things must be in great shape in jaywalking and parking are our biggest issues at this time,'” he said.
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A couple months later, Hustonville was left mayor-less after former Mayor Marc Spivey resigned during the council’s November meeting on election night.
The withdrawal resulted in a four-way write-in campaign for the seat, which Peyton won with 66 votes.
“A couple months later I was sworn into office and sadly realized that there were several issues that needed to be addressed,” he said. “I took over a city that could not pay it’s own bills without taking money from the water department. The water department, at the time, was operating at a loss.”
Money had been invested in the fire department before he became mayor, Peyton said, but at the same time the city’s police chief was driving a “$500 car and had no radar unit.”
At the time, Peyton said the city was also involved in a lawsuit concerning low-flowing fire hydrants.
“The citizens demanded that it be fixed, and I’m glad that it is,” he said.
Incrementally, through the years, Peyton said money has been invested in various city improvements, from water and sewer lines to a new fire and emergency services station.
“We’ve done a lot of stuff here in six years: police car, snow plow, things that improve the daily lives of our citizens. I thank you all for that,” Peyton said with tear-filled eyes.
Tuesday night’s meeting was also the last for a few city council members, including Alan Sims, who stood to share a few parting words.
“I’d like to go on the record as saying this is the finest group of people that I’ve ever worked with,” Sims said. “We had our differences from time to time, but we (met like) gentlemen. I’m really proud of that. I think we did good for the city and hopefully it continues to be that way.”
Other council members echoed Sim’s sentiments and thanked him for serving on the council.
“There are going to be differences in the next two years, but we’re going to leave here as friends,” said Council member Jimmy Evans. Evans and Jimmy Lane were the two incumbent council members who were re-elected to their seats this year.
Come January, Spivey, who currently serves on the council, will once again return to the mayor’s seat and four new faces will join him, Evans and Lane at the city council table.
Peyton ended Tuesday’s meeting by thanking the city council for their service, as well as city employees in attendance, and vowed to attend future meetings when he is able.
“This won’t be the last time you’ll see me,” he said.