Red Bank Mayor John Roberts announced Thursday night that he will not be running for re-election.
He has been on the Red Bank Commission for eight years and has been the mayor since 2012 during a time when the town has experienced an economic upturn.
Red Bank officials will be on the November election.
Also at an unusual Thursday session of the commission, outgoing Mayor Roberts surprised 34-year city attorney Arnie Stulce by having the commission name the new city hall in his honor.
Red Bank several years ago bought a building two doors down on Dayton Boulevard at a foreclosure sale for $275,000 which included paying the back taxes.
The amount paid was $100,000 below the market value. In February, the commissioners voted to authorize an agreement with HL Management, LLC to renovate the old building for use as a new city hall administrative office building at a cost of $681,040.
When finished, the space will contain offices for the city manager, the city recorder, the finance director, director of public works, office staff and a receptionist. There will also be a community meeting room. It has been designed to meet the city’s new design standards using approved building materials and glass. Short walls and landscaping will define the parking area. When renovations of the new building have been completed, the existing building will become the police department.
Near the close of the regular monthly meeting, Mayor Roberts had a number of special guests enter the commission meeting room. They included the city attorney's father, former Rep. Arnold Stulce; his daughter from Knoxville, his son from Chicago, his longtime law partner John Yantis and longtime assistant Sally Reed.
Mayor Roberts said attorney Stulce had not only guided the city on legal matters, but was a mentor to many.
City Attorney Stulce said, "I'm shocked. I'm truly surprised."
A number of former Red Bank city officials were also in attendance.
In other action, the commission approved an expansion of the food truck ordinance that allows food trucks into a new area - Commercial 3.
It was also announced that a farmers market will be returning to Red Bank at the Methodist Church.
City Manager Randall Smith said, "Everybody likes food trucks. We like food trucks."
Ben Shell made a request for a neighborhood block party. He said up to 500 people would possibly attend.
However, City Attorney Stulce and other city officials said the idea may be good, but there is no mechanism in place for holding a block party with city streets blocked.
The attorney said, "Nobody else thought of that before."
Mr. Shell is to discuss the idea further with the commissioners at an agenda session at noon in June.