Ward 4 Councilman Paul Henson announced Tuesday that this will be his last term after serving 14 years on Hopkinsville City Council.
Henson, 80, shared during the council meeting that he has stage 4 lung cancer and just finished chemotherapy.
“The treatments are going well and I love what I do for this council, but I am, at this point, withdrawing from the race,” he said of the upcoming general election. “I would not have done this if I didn’t have someone running against me that I believe is capable.”
Henson, a Democrat, would have faced Independent candidates Chuck Crabtree and Bradley Garabrandt.
Henson said although he doesn’t know Garabrandt, he is familiar with Crabtree, whom he said retired from IT at Hopkinsville Community College.
“He is a super, super intelligent person and he comes from a great family,” Henson said. “I believe Chuck will do a great job. In saying that, for 14 years, the voters of Hopkinsville have allowed me to do this job and I hope I have done a good job for them.”
Along with giving Henson a standing ovation, Mayor Wendell Lynch said the council would keep him in their thoughts and prayers.
“You have been a beacon of light to this council for many many years,” Lynch said after previously serving on the council with Henson.
Henson first ran for city council in 2006.
“I’ve been fortunate so far I haven’t lost an election,” he said before the meeting. “They let me stay and I truly, truly appreciate the city of Hopkinsville voters for letting me do their job because it is their job and I appreciate them letting me do it for that 14 years.”
Throughout his years of service, Henson said he is most proud of his work committees to monitor flood control and the Hopkinsville Transit System. He said he will miss city council.
“Believe me it’s been the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life to step down because it’s something that I love,” he said. “I live for it, believe me. … I love what I do so it’s been a tough decision.”
During Tuesday’s meeting, Hopkinsville City Council voted on second reading to leave the property tax levy at last year’s rates. Real property will be taxed at 23.9 cents per $100 valuation; personal property will be 24 cents and the motor vehicle rate will be 25.1.
City council also heard the monthly financial report from Chief Financial Officer Robert Martin. The most notable announcement was the arrival of $2.23 million in CARES Act reimbursement funding, which Martin said has been deposited into the general fund. Those funds now await for the council to determine how to spend it.
At the last meeting, the council voted to go back to the drawing board after community push back against several line items for the COVID-19 funds, such as a $60,000 parking lot expansion at the sportsplex.
City council will revisit discussions about those funds at Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting.
In other business
- The council approved a memorandum of understanding with Christian County government to apply for $10,183 from the 2020 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. Those funds will be given to Christian County Juvenile Drug Court.
- Lynch announced that the fire training center is complete and Hopkinsville Fire Department will host a ribbon cutting Sept. 29.
- Lynch also noted that COVID-19 testing is still available at Tie Breaker Park from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.