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Benton says ‘so long’ to Mayor Holland

By: 22 December 2010 No Comment

Benton residents gathered Tuesday at the Gene Moss Building at Tyndall Park for a reception honoring departing Mayor Rick Holland.

Holland lost his mayoral race in a runoff against challenger David Mattingly last month. Holland was Benton’s mayor for two back-to-back terms — a rarity in a city that has a tendency to change its mayors frequently. Holland, in an interview with First Arkansas News, said he hasn’t quite figured out what he’s going to do come January when he leaves the Mayor’s office. However he told the about 300 people who attended the reception that he wasn’t in a hurry to decide where his career path will lead next.

“”I’ve got my Saturdays and Sundays back now,” he said.

Holland was quick to praise the city’s eimployees.

“I’ve really enjoyed the eight past eight years and made a lot of friends and had a lot of help,” he said, adding those employees enabled him to perform his job and meet a few goals along the way. “They’d don’t lean on a shovel. They are about the people and their departments. They care about the image of their city.”

Holland wasn’t the only one handing out praise on Tuesday. Outgoing State Senator Shane Broadway, a Democrat who represented Saline County at the Capitol and lost his bid for the Lieutenant Governor’s office last month, was on hand at the event.

Broadway presented a citation to Holland acknowledging his time in office as Benton’s mayor. Outgoing Legislators Barbara Nix and Dawn Creekmore also stopped in to present Holland with a citation from the state House of Representatives.

Holland was also praised by representatives of the Benton Chamber of Commerce, the Arkansas Municipal League and city employees. One of those employees, director of the city’s Community Development Department, grew up with Holland and summed up the mayor’s character in a couple of short sentences.

“He’s a man of integrity. A man of God who will do something when he tells you he will do something,” Cornwell said.

Benton Mayor Rick Holland addresses the crowd gathered to honor him at the Gene Moss Building at Tendall Park.

Holland and Benton Community Development Department Director Lamont Cornwell.

Holland and Benton Police Department Chief Kirk Lane.

Arkansas State Senator Shane Broadway stopped in to present Holland with a citation acknowledging the eight years he spent as Benton's mayor.

You don't get to be mayor if you're not willing to mingle. Holland, a Benton native, was very visible to the city's natives. Here he is at Old Fashioned Day in October with Michael Nobles.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

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