From the singing of the “Marines’ Hymn” to the proclamation of “Terry Nall Day,” the Dec. 9 Dunwoody City Council meeting included several moments to honor outgoing Mayor Denis Shortal and Councilmember Terry Nall.

Terry Nall, center, receives a proclamation from Mayor Denis Shortal, right, and the rest of the City Council declaring Dec. 9, 2019, as ‘Terry Nall Day.’ From left are Mayor-elect Lynn Deutsch and Councilmembers Pam Tallmadge, John Heneghan, Tom Lambert and Jim Riticher. (Dyana Bagby)

The meeting – last in office for both officials – marked the end of an era in part. Shortal has served on the City Council since Dunwoody was incorporated in 2008; he was elected mayor in 2016. He announced earlier this year he was not running for reelection to spend more time with his family. Nall was elected to the City Council in 2011 and served two terms. He ran for mayor this year and lost to Lynn Deutsch.

Nall did not rule out a future run for elected office in Dunwoody during a thank-you speech at the meeting. He also asked Deutsch and the City Council, which will have two new members – Stacey Harris and Joe Seconder –  in January, to keep a focus on such “basics” as public safety and public works.

“To the new council and mayor, my hope is you will continue keeping Dunwoody’s core promises to its citizens and don’t stray from the basics to why we became a city,” Nall said.

“Our budget is tight, our priorities of basic needs versus wants and desires are important for financial responsibility,” he said. “History will judge.”

Nall said he is often asked if he will run for elected office in Dunwoody again.

“The answer is, of course, never say never,” Nall said.

Shortal, a retired Marine Corps brigadier general, invited resident Beth McCool to sing the “Marines’ Hymn” at the start of the meeting, with many in the audience joining in.

Shortal said being a mayor was never on his bucket list of what he wanted to do. He said he dreamed of being a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals or playing basketball at Notre Dame.

But the past 11 years serving on the council has been a “labor of love,” Shortal said.

“We’ve done great things and …  there are great things that are going to be done in the future,” Shortal said.

In one of his last acts as mayor, Shortal issued a proclamation declaring Dec. 9, 2019 as “Terry Nall Day” for “his selfless service to the city of Dunwoody” and noting “his professionalism and contributions to the community are an example and inspiration to his colleagues, friends and his family.”

Several residents spoke during public comment to thank Shortal and Nall for their years of service on the council. There was applause, standing ovations and hugs. And some ribbing.

Resident Bob Fiscella thanked Shortal and Nall for their integrity and “keeping a keen eye on this city.”

He also thanked Shortal for “throwing nickels around like manhole covers.”

“My wife no longer thinks I’m the cheapest man in all of Dunwoody,” he said to some chuckles.

Each council member also shared their thanks and praise to Shortal and Nall for their service to the city. They noted Nall’s attention to detail to finances as a certified public accountant, as well as his work to ensure public safety for all in Dunwoody. They thanked Shortal for his dedication to others before himself.

“You are both the epitome of a public servant,” said Mayor-elect Deutsch at the close of the meeting. “It has been a fantastic eight years serving with both of you.”