LONG-SERVING councillor Peter Taylor and deputy mayor Domenic Testoni were treated to a fond farewell at their final council meeting on Tuesday night.
Both have opted to spend more time with their families instead of running for re-election on September 8.
Cr Taylor has served on council for 17 years, while Cr Testoni was elected six years ago and was seen as a natural successor to current mayor Mike Neville.
Cr Neville delivered a heartfelt tribute to the two men as their last meeting came to a close.
“I want to recognise you, Cr Taylor, for your frank and forthright nature and the way you have carried yourself during your time on council,” Cr Neville said.
“You don’t just walk in and out of here every Tuesday night, you have been a great leader in terms of your work with La Festa. It is an indication of the quality person and man you are.”
Cr Taylor’s family nodded their approval from the back of the room. To Cr Testoni, the mayor’s right-hand-man for much of the present term, Cr Neville offered his appreciation and respect.
“It is disappointing to see a young bloke with tremendous potential make this decision, but I thank you for your support personally, especially during those times I haven’t been available and you’ve had to step in,” Cr Neville said.
“I wish you and your family well. One of the most important tasks any man has is growing his family.”
Crs Christine Stead and Doug Curran also commended Crs Taylor and Testoni, thanking them for their work on various council committees.
The retiring councillors thanked their colleagues and council staff and recognised Peter Fussell, who resigned from council five months ago, for his dedication.
“I would personally like to thank all councillors – in some large or small way each has imparted a level of support and assistance,” Cr Testoni said.
“I’d also like to offer congratulations to the people who are standing for the first time – it is a big step forward and people will criticise you, but it’s important that council has new faces and new ideas.
“The next 10 years will provide some wonderful opportunities for the region as well as some challenges ahead.”
Cr Taylor congratulated the existing councillors for their achievements over the past four years, including the private hospital, City Park and the new water treatment plant.
“You’re a good bunch and you have always been working for the good of Griffith,” he said.
The new council will be elected next Saturday and will sit for the first time on Tuesday, September 11.