Robert “Bob” Routson, who retired this year six months before his term expired, also was honored. He served on city council for 24 years, the longest tenure of the seven members. His resignation ended a 52-year association with Monroe that started in 1969 when he joined the volunteer fire department.
City Manager Bill Brock presented Hale with an engraved key to the city, a plaque and fresh flowers. Angela Wasson, clerk of council, gave Hickman a key to one of the original go-karts from LeSourdsville because of his heavy involvement in Bicentennial Commons and a digital photo organizer because he loves taking pictures with traveling with his wife, Vicki.
Wasson presented Routson with a wooden gavel for his recognition as mayor.
All three received standing ovations from those in the City Council Chambers.
Next year’s seven-person council will include Mayor Jason Frentzel, Vice Mayor Keith Funk and members Marc Bellapianta, Tom Callahan, Kelly Clark, Christina McElfresh and Ben Wagner.
Frentzel said those leaving council “truly will be missed.”
McElfresh said it’s difficult to replace all that experience on council.
“We have lost a lot of history,” she said.
IN OTHER BUSINESS: An ordinance authorizing a 3.5% cost of living to non union employees was unanimously approved. Assistant City Manager Kacey Waggaman said the raise will cost $125,000 in additional payroll.
Council also cancelled its last meeting of the year, scheduled for Dec. 28. Brock said there was no pending legislation.