Published May 15, 2014
By Devin Corbitt, News Editor
Jim Covington officially retired from office this week amidst his friends and family. His party was held on Tuesday and featured many prominent people in the former Belton Mayor’s life, including Drayton McLane, chairman of the McLane Group; Dwayne Digby, former Mayor of Belton; Bill Jones, III, former Mayor of Temple; Jay Taggart; Brigadier General Clark LaMasters, commander of the 13th Sustainment Command at Fort Hood; and Andy Davis, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Belton, where Covington has been a long-time member.
“Jim, I could think of a lot of things to say about you and the person you are, but I just want to tell you how proud I am of the job you’ve done and the way the council’s worked and the things y’all have accomplished for the City of Belton,” Digby said.
LaMasters presented Covington with a large mug emblazoned with the 13th SC(E) crest, as well as a belt buckle commemorating Covington’s service to the Army.
“Besides having the most distinctive mustache in Belton, he now has the most distinctive coffee cup,” LaMasters said. “The buckle reads: ‘To Jim Covington, Mayor of Belton, Texas, thank you for all your support to the soldiers and their families of the 13th SC(E).’”
Covington was also recognized for his great contributions to the City of Belton by Congressman John Carter and representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator John Cornyn, Texas Senator Troy Fraser and Texas Representative Ralph Sheffield.
”I think it’s a clear indication of how much you mean to us, Jim,” City Manager Sam Listi said. “We hope you realize how much you’re appreciated. The Belton community, the Central Texas region and your good friends in Austin and Washington recognize the contributions you have made. A community’s vitality and its quality of life require leadership, commitment and selfless public service, and you have embodied these traits throughout your public service career. Thanks for your friendship and for your service to the city and citizens of Belton.”
Mayor Marion Grayson then proclaimed the day to be Jim Covington Day in honor of the former mayor.
“I, Marion Grayson, Mayor, soon-to-be, of the City of Belton, Texas, on behalf of a grateful City Council and community do hereby proclaim Tuesday, May 13 as Jim Covington Day for his loyal and dedicated service to the City of Belton and each of its citizens and urge everyone to join with me in wishing him and his family many happy years in the future,” Grayson said.
When it came time for Covington to speak, his love and gratitude to his friends, family and the citizens of Belton poured from him.
“I’m just blessed and amazed beyond mention to look out here at all you folks and think back about what we’ve accomplished in Belton. I want to give credit to Terri, my wife, for her support,” he said. “A lot of nice things have been said about me and about my service, and as you know, I always, always defer to those who came before me. Belton was able to do what we have accomplished because I was standing on the shoulders of giants, all the mayors and city councilmen that came before me, particularly the three mayors who trained me up: Bill Holmes, the one responsible for me being in the city government in the first place; Charlie Powell, my first mayor I served under; Dwayne Digby, whose tutelage on the council was valuable. I would not trade my experience or my loss of hair for anything. It’s been a great tenure as your mayor.”
The ceremony concluded with a prayer led by Councilman Craig Pearson.