ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Mayor Anthony Williams is celebrating 20 years of public service with the City of Abilene.
“You are a mentor and friend and learning from you has been the greatest education of my life,” said Alex Russell, owner of The Local.
In that time, Mayor Williams has helped restore and rebuild historically black communities of Abilene.
“I’m very proud of the achievements he’s made, and the contributions he’s given to the city,” said Rev. Andrew Penns, who runs the Curtis House Cultural Center.
Many community leaders around the Key City took the opportunity to say some kind words about the mayor.
“We’ve come a long way from playing basketball on the school yards all those years ago,” said Rick Tomlin, Public Information Officer for APD.
Williams has served on too many boards and nonprofits to count.
“Something about his smile, and his personality, and just his spirit,” said Le Ann Denis, from KRBC Sales.
He’s also served the Abilene city council as mayor and councilmember.
“I’m grateful and blessed to be able to call you a friend and mentor,” said Dr. Travis Craver, city council member.
“It’s a small feat to accomplish 20 years on city council,” said Lynn Beard, city council member.
“You are a person with a true servant’s heart,” said Weldon Hurt, city council member.
Williams has set the record for longest public servant.
“We are honoring something that is going to stand in the history of our community,” said Jay Hardaway, Senior Advisor with Rep. Stan Lambert’s office.
His peers and colleagues say they hope he stays for another 20.
“I’m looking forward to a few more years, I know you got some more still in there,” said Joni McKinnon, KTAB anchor.
But for now, Mayor Williams says he is proud.
“I am just proud of this moment, I am proud of my service, I mean this is my home town, I get to be the mayor of my hometown,” said Williams.
Williams says he wants to continue working on bringing sustainable wages and jobs to the city and to help bridge community divides.
“The development corporation and your entire community thanks you,” said Misty Mayo, CEO of the DCOA.
“Abilene is getting better, because of people like you serving and making it better,” said Blaise Regan, local attorney.
When asked if he plans to run another term, or run for higher office, he said, “Never say never.”