Thursday’s Mandeville City Council meeting — the last regular meeting for three members whose terms expire at the end of the month — didn’t have the heat of some in the past.
Instead, there was a noticeable chill in the room, and it came mainly from Mayor Donald Villere.
After the three departing council members — Carla Buchholz, Ernest Burguières and Rick Danielson — had been given a chance to speak, council President Clay Madden presented each with a plaque commemorating their service.
When Villere was asked if he wanted to say anything, his reply was terse.
“No, I don’t believe, I think everything’s been said,” he said without leaving his seat.
This year’s awkward ceremony was a contrast to four years ago, when Villere presented plaques to the four members who had been unseated by the current council members, according to minutes of that meeting.
During his speech, Burguières acknowledged his role in the sometimes public blow-ups.
“I don’t regret having a difference of opinion. I do regret getting into public arguments, and for that I apologize. Contrary to what some may think, I did not enjoy irritating the mayor,” Burguières said.
Danielson thanked his family, his colleagues on the council and his constituents as he urged the next council to work for the betterment of the city.
The evening’s most heartfelt comments came from Buchholz, who spent most of her speech thanking people, including the mayor, his administration and the city’s employees. But she got a little choked up when it came to her family.
“My mom and dad who, they mean everything,” she said, her voice trailing off. A moment later, she mentioned her husband, Colin. “And Colin ... thank you. You know, thank you,” she said, fighting emotion.
The council will convene once more as a whole, for a special meeting Monday night to discuss the proposed Port Marigny development. The new council members will be inaugurated July 1.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.