Friday, December 7, 2007At last week’s retirement celebration, the community came out to express its sentiment and appreciation to Brad Collins, and gave him a standing ovation.
|Stephanie Ockerman photo|
Q — Has it sunk in, yet? That you aren’t going into the office you held for the past 13 years?
A - It really didn't sink in until I started to leave on Friday afternoon, and handed in all my keys and my city car, and said goodbye to my staff. Then on Monday I went in to pick up some things and suddenly realized that I would never be back. That made really sad for a while.
Q — What the first thing you want to tackle now that you are officially retired?
A - My wife has a honey do list of 13 years for me to work on, and that will take a while. I would also like to re-finish some furniture that I have been putting off for several years. And it would be nice to travel some, and get to see my grandchildren more. I would also like to stay active in affordable housing work of some kind, and our sister city program.
Q — Looking back, would you do it all again? The same way?
A - Yes, exactly the same!! I learned early in my term as mayor that we have to work together to be able to build and sustain the kind of community that we want and need for our people. The progress that we have experienced has been because of this sense of cooperation and togetherness that we have in our town.
Q — How would you want the people of Morehead to think of you and your administration years from now?
A - My mother, bless her soul, raised 9 children by herself, and I would like to be remembered by what is engraved on her gravestone, "She Did What She Could". She didn't do any great and earth-shattering things while she was on this earth, she just did the job that the Lord gave her to do. I always have tried to do the right thing as mayor, but sometimes that doesn't seem to be the most popular thing to do. I hope the citizens of Morehead realize that the many mistakes that I have made have been honest mistakes, or made out of ignorance.
Q — During your time in the mayor’s chair, what are you most proud of?
A - If I could be proud of any thing that we have done, it would be the affordable housing projects that that we have completed, especially in the West Morehead area where I grew up. I am convinced that one of the most important things you can do for a family is to help them be able to own and pay for a decent, safe, sanitary, and affordable home that they can call their own. It does so much for a family's self respect, and their sense of belonging in the community, and actually makes better citizens of them.
Q — Anything specific you feel you left unfinished or wish you had more time to work on?
A - The Scholar House Program that we applied for last year was a big disappointment when it didn't get funded, and I hope the city leaders will keep trying to get this very important project finished.
Q — Few if any elected officials will talk about failures, but are there objectives or projects you believe were not completed to your liking?
A - There are always things you should have done that you didn't do, and so many things you that you did do that you should not have done. But I hope the citizens of Morehead realize that all of the mistakes and failures of my administration were honest and without being influenced by special interests, or personal gain.
Q — How would you describe these past 13 years in terms of how that time span impacted our community of Morehead?
A - We have had an unprecedented era of peace, prosperity, and growth in our community in the past 13 years. This didn't happen by accident!! This came about by all the governmental bodies, the businesses, all of our major employers and businesses working together for the common good of us all!!! We all had to put our own personal agendas and prejudices aside and work for the betterment of the entire community. I would urge us all to continue to do this.
Q — Any ambition to run for office at another level? Why?
A - I have learned the hard way to never say never when asked this question. I said I would never run for city council or mayor, but here I am, or was. There are no plans at present to do anything but enjoy my retirement, but who knows what the future may hold. Spoken like a true politician, yes?
Q — It’s certainly tough to thank everyone and you’ve talked recently about so many groups and individuals who have helped you along the way --- can you expand on those?
A - It has been a great honor to represent the citizens of Morehead for the past 13 years. Morehead has the BEST volunteers, the most intelligent volunteers, and the most dedicated volunteers that I have ever seen anywhere, or at any time. A community cannot operate without its volunteers, and that being said, the City of Morehead will continue to thrive and grow as long as we have these types of people living here.
Q — Any advice to future officials of Morehead and Rowan County?
A - Never Give UP!!! NEVER. The conference center took almost 11 years to come to fruition. The Boodry Place project took 6 years to complete. If we have a dream for our community, and the commitment to see it through no matter what, we can accomplish anything by working together. My motto has always been, as the school system is, "Together We Can".
Q — Of course there are many, but if you had to choose just one aspect of your previous job what will you miss the most?
A - Without a doubt, the people. I have always enjoyed talking with people, and helping people, and I will miss this. But the ones I will miss most are the wonderful employees of our city. In case you all don't know this, the City of Morehead has the most professional, most dedicated, and most loving employees that I have ever been or ever will have the privilege to be associated with. It has been such a pleasure to work with each and every one of you as your mayor. Never did I ever think as I was growing up in this town that I would some day be able represent you all over the world. It has been a privilege to serve as your mayor.
From all of us in the Morehead/Rowan County community, thank you Mayor Collins for your hard work, commitment and dedication -- and for making our town a better place to call home!