Editor’s note: The following guest column is by Jimmy Harris. Harris, who was first elected as Brevard mayor’s in 1999, will officially no longer hold the post this evening after Maureen Copelof is sworn in at a special meeting.  

    This is my last guest column as your mayor. I want to thank you for your enduring support these past 22-years as your mayor.

    I leave my post knowing our city is in exceptional hands.  

    This is a great city to which I am very proud and that I love so much.  We are truly blessed with dedicated employees and public servants who continue to amaze me with accomplishments day in and day out.

    I want each of you to know that I pray that all of you are blessed and that each of you thrive in your personal life, your married life, your children’s lives, your church life and business life. Whatever that means to you.

    I appreciate the confidence you have shown to me as the mayor of Brevard. Your attendance at City Council meetings, special events and participation on committees has helped make Brevard the “Place of Choice” that it is.

    I am very proud of what we have accomplished together.

    Remember, Brevard’s future is bright, and its best days are ahead.   

    I have confidence in you.  I am sure that Brevard residents will benefit in the years to come by the planning taking place today.

    I fully expect that you will see the completion of Clemson Plaza, just the right size for a mini park on Main Street named after Frank Clement and his sons for their contribution of entertainment during a rugged period in our past.   

    Also, you will see the extension of the Estatoe Trail to Main Street and the completion of the Mary C. Jenkins Community Center, named after Don Jenkins’ mother, who started the first school for African American children in Brevard.  

    Brevard didn’t just “hold it in the road” during this pandemic like many municipalities.  

    We encouraged collaboration initiating outside dining/curbside pickup and bringing people together to maintain downtown Main Street’s vibrancy and commerce.  

    Additionally, we continued pouring concrete and working on multiple projects benefiting our residents.  

    I have mentioned a few in the paragraph above, however, there are more, such as the Brevard Dog Park, Railroad Depot Park, Downtown Master Plan, and the Silverstein Memorial Playground and basketball court on land Bethel “A” Baptist donated to the city of Brevard for these amenities.

    The adjoining parking lot is to be repaved. All because the members of council unanimously gave their support.  

    I have often joked that I make the promises and the city manager keeps them.  

    Jim Fatland, our city manager, is to be commended for his results-oriented qualities that I so admire.  

    Brevard will miss him as we wish him the very best in his retirement.

    There has never been a “great” time to leave this post; however, this is the best time.  Remember, Brevard’s “best days are ahead of it.” Perhaps you will decide that.   

    See you on the sidewalks of Brevard and at the Hardware Store.

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