Thursday’s meeting of the Murfreesboro City Council was the final one for Vice Mayor Chris Bratcher, who presided in Mayor Tommy Bragg’s absence for the last time.
Chris Bratcher (left) in 1988 with fellow Murfreesboro City Council members, Mary Huhta (L to R) Roger Haley, Richard Reeves, Mary Scales and John Pittard. Former Mayor Joe. B. Jackson is seated. (Photo submitted)
Bratcher trailed third-place finisher Eddie Smotherman by a mere 155 votes in the April 17 municipal election, denying him a ninth term on the council.
His career as a councilman spanned 24 years and began in 1988 at the age of 29, joining Mayor Joe B. Jackson and fellow council members Mary Huhta, Richard Reeves, Roger Haley, Mary Scales and John Pittard.
Bratcher served on the Beautification Commission, now the Urban & Environmental Department, at the age of 25 before his election to the council, and ran unsuccessfully for a council seat in 1986 as well.
“You (Bratcher) are the last of those on the council who served with my father (Robert W. “Tee-Niny” Scales),” Madelyn Scales-Harris said. “You’ve sat next to me, my mom (Mary Scales), and my dad – (two) generations of my family on this council, and I want to express my sincerest thanks for your service to Murfreesboro.”
Bratcher read a prepared statement just before he pounded the gavel for the last time in his role as Murfreesboro’s vice mayor.
“I would like to take a second to say thank you to the citizens of our great city for your support in the past 24 years. You have truly blessed me by allowing me to represent you. To the staff here at City Hall and all the city employees, thank you for your hard work and dedication to serve our citizens - you’re the best. I have had the honor to serve our city’s finest elected officials - Mayor Joe B. Jackson, Mayor Richard Reeves, and Mayor Tommy Bragg. I have served with all the ladies who have ever served on this council - Mary Huhta, Mary Scales, Beth O’Brien, and Madelyn Scales-Harris. I grew up on this council and learned from leaders like John Pittard, Kevin Wax, Wood Robinson, Jack Ross, David Edwards, and so many others. We all have been blessed by their service. Its been an honor to serve with this council, and I take comfort in knowing that I am leaving Murfreesboro in great hands. I congratulate Mr. Smotherman and I ask that you work together to continue making our great city even better! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives.”
All business coming before the council passed unanimously, including:
• A recommendation to rezone 93.67 acres along Kimbro Road from Planned Urban Development to RS-8 and RM-16 by applicant Wilson Bank & Trust;
• A recommendation to rezone 86.35 acres along Warrior Drive from Planned Commercial Development and RS-15 to Highway Commercial (CH) District by applicant Wendell Atkinson; and
• A recommendation to rezone 5.3 acres along South Church Street from Planned Commercial Development to Commercial Fringe (CF) District by applicant Ken Knuckles.