A longtime Lubbock officeholder has sat through his last meeting as a councilman.

District 6 Councilman Jim Gilbreath joined the Lubbock City Council in May of 2003, and decided against running for reelection.

At the end of the short City Council meeting Thursday morning, Gilbreath said “Well, today is my last hoorah, and I just want to say thanks to everybody. It’s been an honor to serve.”

Following Gilbreath’s short statement, the other Council members and Mayor Tom Martin took time at the end of the meeting to discuss their appreciation for Gilbreath

There was some room for levity, as District 4 Councilman Paul R. Beane discussed Gilbreath’s campaign history during his time on the Council.

“I’d also like to congratulate him on the way he has conducted himself through several hard-fought campaigns in his reelection efforts for District 6, having never drawn an opponent. I would also like to thank him for his service,” said Beane.

Gilbreath happily responded “I’d rather be lucky than good.”

District 1 Councilman Victor Hernandez also weighed in, touting his fondness for Gilbreath.

“”I’ve been your cheerleader out in the public. I really am truly sorry you’re not running again. In fact, you know I tried to get you to run for mayor. I think you’d make an excellent one,” said Hernandez.

Mayor Tom Martin, who served one term as the District 5 councilman beginning in 2002, served with Gilbreath first as a councilman, and then as Mayor since 2008, talked about their beginnings on the Lubbock City Council.

“If you’ll recall, when you were first elected, we found out we were nearly bankrupt, we were running out of water. What a way to start a career in politics and having to deal with these issues,” Martin said.

“Your daddy has a saying that he tells everybody, and I think it goes something like this: Everybody has to pay their civic rent, and for those of you that may not know what that means, is that we all have a duty, in addition to the normal things of citizenship, to get involved in our communities, donate our time, treasure, and talents to making our communities a better place.”

Martin continued, saying “Jim, I can tell you that if Owen were here today instead of over at Carillon right now, that I think he would agree with me that you have definitely paid your civic rent, and I think that’s the biggest compliment that we can give him. Jim certainly has been a big part of this community and don’t think he’s going away. He’ll be a big part of this community for many years to come. Thank you.”

The meeting adjourned following a standing ovation for Gilbreath from attendees, City staff, and the Council.

Randy Sanders and Latrelle Joy are currently running for the District 6 Council seat vacated by Gilbreath in the May 12th municipal election.