• Council says farewell to Bell, Cesternino

    By Sinclaire Sparkman -

    Rick Bell attended his last meeting as Ward 6 councilor in Lebanon on Tuesday, and fellow councilors bid him a fond farewell.

    “Rick has only been a friend of mine since the ninth grade. We’ve been friends a long time. It’s deeply enjoyable for me to be on the council and serve my fellow citizens, but it’s been a real joy for me to be on the council with Rick. He brings a lot to this council and a lot to this town and community. It’s been a privilege to serve with him and I think it’s been a privilege for our town to have you on the city council,” said Ward 4 Councilor Chris Crowell.

    Bell was named to the council three years ago.

    “It’s been a real honor to serve the residents of Ward 6 and citizens throughout the city for the past three years. They say, as you get older, time goes faster, and that seems like it must be true, because it feels like just yesterday it was my first meeting,” Bell said.

    Bell touted some of his favorite accomplishments during his council service as the Hartmann Drive corridor study, Sparta Pike economic study, a pay adjustment for city employees, funding for the Joe Hayes fire station, recycling efforts, renovations at Don Fox Park, the creation of the city’s comprehensive plan and the overall dedication of the council members.

    “I’m going to miss serving my hometown. I grew up here. This is where I spent my life, and this is where I want to spend the rest of my life. I’m going to miss serving my hometown and serving the other people who call this place home. Hopefully one day the people will allow me to serve them again, but right now it’s family time. So thank you. Thanks to everyone up here. I really appreciate you all,” Bell said.

    Jeni Lind Brinkman will take the Ward 6 council seat after she ran unopposed in the Nov. 6 election.

    Rob Cesternino is currently deployed with his Army unit and was not at the meeting Tuesday.

    “I want to say it’s been an honor to serve and work with you, and Rob, as well. I look forward to working with Jenni Lind and Camille in the future,” said Ward 1 Councilor Joey Carmack.

    Camille Burdine, who defeated Zabrina Seay in the Nov. 6 election, will take the Ward 3 council seat.

    Judge Jim Flood will swear in the two new councilors at a special-called meeting Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave. A special-called meeting will follow at 6:10 p.m.

    Crowell was reinstated to his Ward 4 seat during Tuesday’s meeting. He also ran unopposed in the Nov. 6 election.

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