HURRICANE — At the recent Hurricane City Council meeting, city staff, fellow council members and residents said goodbye to longstanding council members Darin Larson and Kevin Tervort, who have served for eight and 12 years, respectively.
Between Christmas decorations and a slew of holiday pies arranged on a folding table – a gift from the Chamber of Commerce to council and staff on their last meeting of the year – the stage was set for a celebration.
“I just want to thank you guys for all the hours you put in, the days, the sleepless nights you’ve probably put in thinking about controversies,” City Engineer Arthur LeBaron said. “Because I know it happens to me, and it must be times 10 that for council members. And the public doesn’t really understand what you do. No one can walk in your shoes, you know … It’s appreciated and it’ll be great to see you around town. Hopefully, we share a friendship forever.”
“Well, if we don’t it’s your fault,” Tervort quipped, before thanking staff for their support.
“We’re just people, all of us here. There’s not one of us that knows how to do your job,” he said. “I am very appreciative that you are the professionals and give the advice we need to make the decisions that we make.”
Tervort said he felt particularly comfortable leaving the dais knowing the new City Council will continue to be guided by City Manager Kaden DeMille.
“I feel a real kinship, because I feel like I’ve known him since he was in diapers – it’s dang near true,” Tervort said. “We go back a long, long ways, Kaden and I, to when he’d just barely come home from a mission. And then we both end up here, oddly enough. And I feel like with him, the city is in good hands.”
Councilmember Joseph Prete wryly acknowledging the many conflicts he’s had with Tervort and Larson over development issues before expressing his appreciation.
“It is not an easy thing to be up here, and we don’t always see eye-to eye. In fact, rarely do I see eye-to-eye with most anybody up here,” Prete said, drawing laughter. “But I have great love and respect for those who have served. They take a lot of heat for the decisions and the votes they make … You’ll be missed. It’s been an honor to serve with you.”
Gratitude was also a theme for the outgoing council members.
“It’s been fun for me,” Larson said. “I’ve enjoyed it, enjoyed my time with staff and council members. And I just want to say, I appreciate the opportunity to serve the citizens.”
Tervort echoed Larson’s sentiments, saying that in 12 years, he had probably made everyone angry at some point.
“If that’s the case,” Tervort said, “I hope you’re over it, because I am.”
He said his appreciation for Hurricane is what has motivated him over the years.
“I love this town, I always have,” Tervort said. “I moved here when there were only 3,800 people. And we’ve come to almost 25,000 now. It’s been a fun ride. It’s been quite a train ride, but I am ready to get off.”
The attendee who was arguably the most effusive in his praise was local engineer Karl Rasmussen, owner of the ProValue engineering firm. He’s a regular at council meetings, weighing in on building projects with which he’s involved.
“It’s been 15-going years you’ve seen me going up here and up here and up here,” Rasmussen said. “I’ve always been able to make presentations to city council and the mayors and staff. We’re going to dearly miss two class council members, Darin Larson and Kevin Tervort. Emotions are high in me and I just want to say thank you. You are two of the top-class guys in politics I’ve run into.”
Rasmussen followed his statement by leading a round of applause, joined by all in attendance.
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