Bates Mattison, who has served on the Brookhaven City Council since the city’s inception seven years ago, was celebrated with a proclamation and praise from colleagues and residents during his last meeting on Dec. 10.

Bates Mattison, center, was honored for his seven years on the Brookhaven City Council at the Dec. 10 meeting with a proclamation thanking him for his service. From left are Councilmember Linley Jones, Mayor John Ernst, Mattison, and Councilmembers John Park and Joe Gebbia. (Dyana Bagby)

Mayor John Ernst presented Mattison a proclamation to “honor and commemorate the public service and community stewardship” during his two terms on the council. Mattison decided not to seek a third term. Madeleine Simmons was elected Nov. 5 and will replace Mattison on the council in January.

“There’s been disagreements, but the fact you and others didn’t make it disagreeable after … allowed us to move forward as a council,” Ernst said. He also thanked Mattison’s wife, Stephanie, and children, Miles and Kathleen, because public life can be difficult.

“They have to put up with the arrows thrown at us, but we signed up for it,” Ernst said, his voice cracking. “But our families are often caught in the crossfire.”

Councilmember Joe Gebbia, who has also been on the council since the city’s incorporation, said everything the city has accomplished includes Mattison’s input.

“Everything in this city has his fingerprints on them,” Gebbia said. “We wouldn’t have the success today if Bates hadn’t stepped up.”

Councilmembers Linley Jones praised Mattison for his attention to detail to the city’s annual budget, saying he was a leader of fiscal conservatism for the city. Councilmember John Park said Mattison’s service on the council since Day One set the stage for future success.

Mattison also thanked the mayor and council for their service, saying they were “truly phenomenal people to work with.”

“We’ve always been able to come together and work as a team,” he said. “I will miss this a lot. This is truly one of the greatest experiences of my life.”