The end of an era

Published 6:08 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The municipal elections are now set for every city and town in Alabama now, with the exception of a few major cities in the state. There is, however, a glaring omission for me – my dad.

Ever since late 1984, my father, Sammie Maze, has been the mayor of Kimberly, a town that is located about 20 miles north of Birmingham. I was 4 years old at the time. All of my life, I have known my dad as a mayor, but now that is changing.

Monday night, my dad called me to tell me that he wasn’t going to run again for mayor. After praying about it for the last five months or so, he just felt it was time to move on and leave the town’s top job for someone else.

As you can tell, this is going to be a major adjustment for me. Now, that doesn’t mean that I will start getting speeding tickets in the tickets back home now. I always told my friends, “If you get a ticket in Kimberly, don’t call me. I can’t get you out of it.”

Actually, I got a speeding ticket in Kimberly while my dad was mayor. I had to go to court, driving school and everything. I didn’t get any special treatment because I was the mayor’s son.

I guess that’s probably the best thing about him because he was fair in dealing with just about everyone I knew. I think that’s the mark of a good leader in government, and I saw that with my dad.

Things didn’t always go smoothly. There were difficulties. In 1990, an arsonist burned the Kimberly Town Hall. Just about everything was lost, but the town rebuilt and built a better town hall than the one they had.

There have been some high points too.

Kimberly has consistently been one of the fastest growing municipalities in the Birmingham area. Since my dad took office, the town has tripled, if not quadrupled, in population.

I can’t say that my dad alone did all the work. He always had a great town council, clerk and office staff around him to get things done.

It’s been a good run. I just want to salute my dad for all the hard work.