Paul Bond, a former Oak Ridge North City Council member and mayor pro tem, was sworn in as the city’s mayor June 10 following the planned retirement of Jim Kuykendall during a regular city council meeting.
Bond will serve the remainder of Kuykendall’s term, which lasts until May 2020. Former City Council Member Tom Coale was appointed to Bond’s now-vacant seat on the city council in Position 1, and he will also serve the remainder of his term through May 2020. Council Member Dawn Candy was elected as the new mayor pro tem by the council.
The outgoing mayor first announced his plans to resign at the city’s May 29 council meeting. On Monday night, Kuykendall was recognized by Bond, several city council members and Gil Staley, Chief Executive Officer of The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership, for his accomplishments in and around Oak Ridge North during his time in office.
“This is a great city to live in and raise a family [in], and you’ve been an integral part as mayor. What an honor and a privilege it has been to work with you,” Bond said to Kuykendall after his swearing-in. “You’re a special person that has led this city for eight years and it has been a true pleasure to work with you as mayor. You will be missed but you won’t be forgotten. It is people like you that make an impact.”
Staley credited Kuykendall for his work as a board member with The Woodlands Area EDP, and he presented him with a watercolor painting to commemorate his time in office.
“On behalf of the board, our partners, my staff: Thank you for what you’ve done for the Economic Development Partnership for this entire region,” Staley said before offering the gift. “It’s a watercolor of a pinecone so you’ll remember The Woodlands area, fondly I hope, and again how much we appreciate you.”
Before departing the council chamber for the evening, Kuykendall also delivered some final words to those in attendance.
“This city’s in great hands, great things are going to happen in this city and I look forward to hearing about it,” he said. “These are good people, these are good neighbors, these are great neighbors. Don’t ever forget that. When all the politics and all the minutiae gets cleared away we’re still next-door neighbors, and we still ought to like each other. God bless you, thank you so much.”