Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe has announced that Scot Wrighton, has been selected as the new city manager for Decatur. (See article elsewhere on this page.)
The new city manager announcement came on the heels of another announcement earlier this week that Decatur Interim City Manager Billy Tyus is leaving to become deputy city manager in Bloomington. While it is good news that a new city manager has been found I think it is a real loss to the City that Tyus is leaving Decatur for Bloomington. Tyus will be joining his former boss, Decatur City Manager Tim Gleason, who left our city to become Bloomington City Manager last summer.
The first day for Tyus in his new position will be Feb. 7 and he is excited about the new challenge and the opportunity to again work with Gleason. While Bloomington will have the same municipal team in place that Decatur had six months ago, the loss of both men is not good for our city. Hopefully, the hiring of new City Manager Scot Wrighton will help with a positive forward thrust for Decatur. (I look forward to sitting down and talking with Wrighton.)
• TYUS has served the City of Decatur for 18 years, which means he has gained tremendous insight and experience from the three city managers and one interim city manager he worked with during those years as well as four elected mayors. I worked with Tyus during the years I served as mayor and always found him to be an even-tempered, efficient and extremely nice person. He has worked in several areas and projects for the City during the past 18 years and brings a lot of solid, practical ideas to the table. Tyus would have been a valuable resource for the new city manager in getting up to speed on what is happening in Decatur from first-hand, inside observations. I certainly wish Billy Tyus the best in his new position. He has served the Decatur community well and I don’t think there has been a full appreciation for all that has happened in our city government that Tyus has been involved with — and I think some of that is the result of Tyus never tooting his own horn. To paraphrase an old saying: “Decatur’s loss is Bloomington’s gain”. That’s especially true in the departure from Decatur of Billy Tyus.
• THE FRIENDS of Julie Moore Wolfe will be holding a fundraiser for our mayor, who is running for re-election, at Doherty’s Pub & Pins, 242 E. William St., from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17th. Donation requested is $25.00.
• THERE WILL BE a fundraiser for City Councilman and mayoral candidate David Horn at Sol Bistro, 237 N. Main St., on Tuesday, Jan. 29 from 5:00-7:00 PM. There will be complimentary appetizers, soft drinks, and a cash bar. Contributions of any size to the campaign are welcome. Also on Friday, January 11 at Coney McKane’s (104 E. Prairie St.) and Tuesday, January 15 at Perkins (2999 N. Monroe St.) from 7:00 – 8:30 AM, Horn will be hosting conversations with the candidate — informal discussions about the city and the campaign. Contact Horn at hornfordecatur@ gmail.com or 217-358-5003 if you have any questions.
• A FUNDRAISER in support of Marty Watkins for City Council will be held at The Beach House, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive in Decatur, on Jan. 16 from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. The event will be hosted by Jerry Dawson, Jay Dunn, Vinnie Barbee, Jon Butts, Lloyd Holman and Bill Oliver. There will be appetizers, soft drinks, beer and wine. Donation will be $25 for singles and $40 for couples. Make checks payable to Watkins for City Council.
• I WAS saddened to hear of the death of Eve Shade, a tireless worker for our community for many years and a big supporter of this editor and newspaper. Her obit is in our public notices section on pages 20-22 of this edition but can’t fully capture her good works in Decatur. Although she did not live in Decatur for the past several years, her name is still easily recognizable to those who appreciated her many efforts — and her continuing interest and love for our community during the many years she lived here and after she moved away. Condolences to her family. It seems we’ve been losing a lot of people lately who made a big difference in our community over the decades. Eve, and so many others, are thought of in very positive terms, not only by this editor — but so many others.