For the past year, Kenneth Pelham has occupied Place 4 on the Anna City Council. At the bimonthly city council meeting on July 25, Pelham announced his resignation from the council. Pelham said the meeting on Aug. 8 is probably going to be his last one to attend.
Pelham said the reason he is leaving is because he is a member of the Army Reserves, and has been activated to serve in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. He will be there for two years.
Pelham has served the city of Anna on different levels for several years. Aside from holding Place 4 on the council for the past year, he served as the mayor of Anna from 2003-2009. Pelham said it was his love for the city of Anna that brought him to want to serve.
“I am a long time resident of Anna,” Pelham said. “I have enjoyed having the ability to help plan for Anna.”
Pelham said one of his favorite things about being on the council was taking care of home.
However, Pelham said he does not look too kindly on social media and the rumor mills associated with them.
“I did not like all the haters,” Pelham said. “There was a post accusing me of taking bribes, and some people believe that if it was on the social site, it must be true. It’s hard to bounce back from derogatory rumors.”
When he first ran for the position, one of Pelham’s goals was giving Anna a bigger voice to the surrounding governments.
“The key to that is ‘plan now’ instead of ‘react later,’” Pelham said.
Even though it is an ongoing task, Pelham said he feels confident that steps were set in motion to help Anna’s voice be heard by urging city staff, council and the mayor to start making local and regional meetings.
“Showing other local governments that Anna is here and we care about what’s going on is important,” Pelham said, “and also to let them know that we need our fair share too.”
Pelham said 90 percent of his time in office was rewarding.
“We’ve all made mistakes, but times change,” Pelham said. “We all learn as we go.”
When he graduated from Anna High School in 1987, he walked with 42 other students. Now, that number has grown immensely.
“All we can do is accept the change,” Pelham said. “But, we should always put our best foot forward, and fight for the best interest of Anna.”
Pelham said this trip is not “goodbye,” just “see you later.”
“Anna is my home and I’m coming back to the old part of town,” Pelham said. “Same neighborhood, same house.”
At the meeting on Aug. 8 councilors bid Pelham farewell and thanked him for his service.
“Kenneth has been an excellent addition to the city council,” Mayor Mike Crist said. “He and I disagree on a variety of topics, which has led to a more robust, healthier discussion of the topics the council faces.”
Crist mentioned how Pelham hits issues head-on.
“His outspoken nature and no-nonsense attitude are some of the qualities I appreciated about Kenneth,” Crist said. “I am glad to call him my friend, and will look forward to his return.”
City councilor Nathan Bryan said Pelham is passionate about the city of Anna, and also spoke of Pelham’s straightforward demeanor.
“He is a passionate public servant, who does not hold back on his opinions and will speak his mind,” Bryan said. “Kenneth does generally have Anna’s best interest in mind.”
Bryan said he applauds Pelham’s devotion to his family and country.
“Kenneth is a devoted father, husband and grandfather,” Bryan said. “He selflessly serves his country, and for that, I commend him.”
When he gave his resignation at city council, Pelham challenged all the residents of Anna to run for his seat. Crist said due to the term’s service of three years, there will not be an appointed person to the vacant seat. City council will discuss when the next election will be at the Aug. 8 meeting. Any resident interested in filling the soon-to-be-vacant seat can go to Anna City Hall and fill out an application.