My last meeting as a member of the Metropolitan Council is Wednesday, Dec. 12, bringing to a close 12 years of service as a councilman. To serve the citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish in this capacity has been a privilege and one of my life’s greatest honors.

For the past 50 years, I’ve called Baton Rouge home. I love it here, and I’m passionate about giving back to a community that’s given so much to me. This passion led me to devote more than 40 years of my life to public service, starting at the young age of 23. It’s why I ran for the Metro Council 12 years ago and why I sought the office of mayor-president earlier this year.

Although I will no longer have an official role in city-parish government after my term ends on Dec. 31, I can make you this promise: I will never stop trying to make our city and parish a better place for your family and mine, and I look forward to finding new ways to give back to this community I’m proud to call home.

To Mayor Kip Holden, my very worthy opponent in the recent campaign, I wish nothing but the best as he embarks on his final term as mayor-president. Although we may have disagreed on the specifics during the last campaign, at the end of the day we both want the same thing — a safe, prosperous community for our children and grandchildren.

As we move forward, it is my hope and prayer that we can come together as one city and one parish to confront the challenges that face us. Only by working together, as one team, can we realize our full potential and at last become America’s next great city.

Mike Walker

metro councilman

Baton Rouge