Phil Stone, 10-year member of the Perry City Council, finished his term of service as representative of the first-ward voters Tuesday night at the last meeting for 2015 of the Perry City Council.
Stone and his wife, Cathy Stone, will leave Perry a few days after Christmas to travel to their new home in maple Grove, Minn.
“Don’t be a stranger,” said council member Dr. Randy McCaulley, like Stone a longtime member of the council.
“I’ll come back.” Stone told the council. “I might not come back to haunt the council, but I’ll be back in town. Don’t you worry.”
After further pleasantries, Stone made his valedictory remarks to the mayor and council and the voters of Perry.
“Ten years has gone rather quickly, actually,” Stone said. “I want to once again reiterate what you’ve heard me say many, many times. I think Perry is on the edge of some great things. I think we need to be very progressive in looking ahead at what should be coming down the line for the city of Perry. I know there’s negatives floating around, and it’s unfortunate, but we’re all in this together. Sometimes I think that people think, ‘Well, I’m not a bicyclist, and I don’t own a business,” but the plus is that we need to have people wanting to come to Perry to live, and that’s good for everybody, whether you’re a business or not. It should help appreciate the value of your property and make it more worthwhile. So I’m expecting to hear good things about the city of Perry, and I will keep track.”
Stone turned briefly to address several heads of city departments who attended the meeting, such as Perry Public Works Director Jack Butler and Perry Public Library Director Mary Murphy.
“I do want to comment that I do appreciate the heads of the departments coming. I think it’s a valuable asset to have them on hand if there’s a question. I see we have a few here who probably don’t have to be here, yet it’s good that you are, and it’s nice to see you all. Thanks very much.”
Stone’s successor in the first-ward seat, Dean Berkland of Perry, was elected in a write-in campaign in November and will assume office in January.
On Tuesday morning, Stone presented his fellow members of the Society of Retired Educators (SORE) coffee group with a token of his esteem: a plate block of U.S. three-cent stamps commemorating the centennial of Iowa’s 1846 admission to the United States. The stamps were issued in 1946.
Stone’s inscription on the mounted and framed block plate read, “To the SORE Coffee Group at the Perry Perk and Tari Mason. Many happy memories. –Phil Stone, December 18, 2015.”
At the urging of the members, Mason agreed to act as caretaker of the gift and hang it prominently with the other SORE memorabilia.