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Last week was an emotional time for Kingston Vice Mayor Teresa Nichols.
After choosing not to run for re-election, her final council meeting was Tuesday night.
Nichols, who emerged as something as a peacemaker when conflicts arose on the council, expressed her fondness for her fellow city council members and city employees.
“Guys, it has been a pleasure working with each of you,” she said at the start of the meeting.
She recalled her earliest days on the council.
“When I first started four years ago, I gave each of you a puzzle piece. Mayor (Troy) Beets still has his,” Nichols said. “We all had our own special piece, but we all had to work together to fit that puzzle together.”
Nichols indicated that she would be spending her extra time with her new husband, Jeff Nichols, and with her grandchildren.
“I truly wish all of you all the best,” she said. “And thank God for you and the opportunity.”
Beets thanked Nichols for her work.
“I know you have a tiny foot, but there’s some big shoes to fill,” he said.
From there, the situation deteriorated into humor — most of it at the good-natured Councilman Don White’s expense.
Beets, noting that Nichols’ absence will leave the council without a woman’s presence for the first time in many years, joked that the council planned to dress White in drag to fill the role.
When Councilman Kevin McClure ribbed White further on those lines, the silver-haired White turned to him and deadpanned, “You’ve been hitting on me all night.”
Later, as the department heads were giving their reports for the evening, parks and recreation director Rick Ross noted that the Miss Firecracker pageant associated with the city’s Fourth of July festival will be held June 23. He said the pageant is open to females aged 15-21.
With a straight face, Beets said, “I guess that age requirement keeps Mr. White from entering.”