Harlem officials recently honored one of their own for his long service to the city.
At Monday’s monthly meeting, they named former councilman and longtime Mayor Pro Tem the Rev. Rudolph Dixon as Councilman Emeritus.
Dixon, 88, served six terms on the council after he retired as a Methodist minister in 1994.
He was replaced in the November election, where he was seeking a seventh term.
“I got angry with the status quo people we had at that time,” Dixon said at the meeting. “I said, ‘I know I can do better than that.’ I won by nine votes.”
Mayor Bobby Culpepper presented Dixon with a plaque with the resolution the council passed in his honor.
“It’s all a token our love to you and our thanks for all that you have done keeping us straight all these years,” Culpepper said.
Dixon is known for his signature humor, fiscal conservatism and motions to adjourn.
Teasing Dixon, Culpepper said, “The next thing we’re going to do is blow the budget and spend money like crazy.”
Dixon joked that he’d have to come to meetings and voice his opinion.
“I thank all the council I have been up here with these many years,” Dixon said. “I do appreciate what you have done since I was on the council. You’ll do even better without me, that I do know. You’ve got big things ahead of you, so I understand. I know you’ll handle it and we’ll all be proud of you.
Also at the meeting, city officials approved a Greenways Trails Connections Plan, which lays out a proposed network of greenways and trails throughout the city.
They also held the first reading of an ordinance that would require future developments around the trails network to provide connections to it.
The first reading of another ordinance was held that would change the time and place of monthly council meetings to 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month at the Harlem Department of Public Safety courtroom.
Both ordinances require a second reading and to be approved, which will likely happen at the March 17 meeting. They could go into effect as early as March 18.