12/03/07 — Bryan will sit for last time today at council

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Bryan will sit for last time today at council

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on December 3, 2007 2:19 PM

Jimmy Bryan has half of a Goldsboro City Council meeting left.

And after tonight, there will be no more "Materbaby" references -- a term that Bryan says is "a long story."

"It was a nickname that we use in my family," Bryan said. "Tomaterbaby or Materbaby. I said it once, and it stuck."

That "funny word" would always make the council members chuckle.

"Keep the city clean" won't likely be heard during councilmen reports anymore either.

That's Bryan's thing -- one that Mayor Al King and council members liked to tease him about.

But the city's cleanliness is important to him.

"That is the first thing people see when they come to any town," he said. "I will say that forever."

For four years, Bryan has served District 1.

He didn't do it to get a pat on the back.

That normally doesn't happen anyway. Being a councilman is usually a "thankless job," he said.

He didn't do it for his own benefit.

He didn't do it for the sometimes late-night telephone calls from complaining residents.

He wanted to become a councilman because he thought there needed to be a change.

"I was on some boards before, and we would make recommendations, but the council wouldn't listen to us," Bryan said. "I wanted to be in a position where I could accomplish things. I wanted to make sure these boards and advisory commissions were being listened to.

"This is the stage of government where what we do affects us to. I always tell people, 'When we make rules, we have to follow them, too. We are citizens, too. What affects you, affects us.'"

He admits that his four-year term might be a short amount of time, but he said he believes the council has achieved much during that time.

"That's the fun part -- seeing the new stuff that's helping people, seeing the city develop, seeing the downtown revitalization, seeing the Paramount Theater being built, seeing City Hall being redone," he said.

He will miss sitting in that far left seat.

He will miss his fellow council members.

And yes, he will miss the meetings.

But most of all, he will miss the good things -- which he said is being a part of the city's progress.

"It's nice to think that I was a part of that stuff," he said.

Bryan was elected in 2003 when he won by one vote. He says his council career might not be over yet.

He just wants to take some time out to concentrate on his business -- Sportsman's World -- where he is part owner.

"I might run again," he said "I'm not saying, 'No, I won't run again.' This was just a business decision that I had to make."

He didn't decide not to seek re-election because his council term wasn't fun.

"I had fun with it," he said. "There were times that I needed to be serious, and times where I didn't. I think sometimes we take ourselves too seriously. I think you have to have fun with what you're doing."

What will he do now?

"Work," he said. "Our business is changing, and we want it to be ready for the future."

But his life won't be without play.

He plans to spend many a day golfing.

And when he isn't working or swinging the club, he will be at home with his wife or visiting family, he said.

You might still see him at a few meetings here and there, too.

It's not something he can entirely stay away from, he said.

Bryan still needs to know about what's going on in the city that he loves and lives in.