Swann announced during Tuesday’s meeting that he will not be running for re-election.
Swann said in both a formal statement and in remarks during the meeting that the decision to end his career of public service was a difficult one.
“I guess it’s been so hard because I like what I’m doing,” Swann said.
He thanked all of the mayors and council members who have served with him as well as his constituents for their support and city employees for their hard work.
Swann added that he believes one of the most dignified and fulfilling things an individual can do is serve for the benefit of others.
Swann said he has always tried to make decisions based on sound financial judgment while considering the best interests of the city with an open mind and heart.
Swann closed by saying that while he has enjoyed all of his six terms in office, the time has come to pass the responsibility of running the city to the next generation.
Swann expressed his intention to remain active in the community after the election.
“I don’t know what I might do in the future. If somebody asks me, I’ll do something,” Swann said with a chuckle.
Council member Johhny Rollins, who has served alongside Swann for the past two decades, called him the best councilman the city has had in recent memory.
“It’s the city of Jasper’s loss when Lee decides to retire,” Rollins said.
District Two representative Morris Studdard echoed Rollins’ sentiments.
“I think he has been a remarkable council person for our entire city but especially District Four. If you don’t believe me, drive through and see the accomplishments that have been made through his leadership,” Studdard said.
District Three representative Gary Cowen said he has always enjoyed discussing matters of the city with Swann even on the occassions when they have disagreed.
“I guess we agree on 99 percent, and the one percent I always know where Lee’s coming from is for the good of the city. He just figures out a different way to get there,” Cowen said.
Current council president Sandi Sudduth said she has also valued Swann’s advice during the eight years that they have served together and is sorry to see him go.
“This morning when I was trying to get you to change your mind, you said you had already made a pact with God. So I can’t argue with God,” Sudduth said.
Mayor Sonny Posey said he tried to convince Swann to run again as well but respects his decision to step down.
“We’re going to miss you,” Posey said.