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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Outgoing mayor is proud of work

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Some might think that a mayor's last days in office would be his most stressful. Mayor Kenny Crabb, however, would disagree.

In fact, the outgoing mayor's biggest concern yesterday morning was getting rid of a quantity of sweets he had amassed.

"I'm not really hungry," he said. "And I have boxes of stuff. Cookies, candy, all kinds of sweets. I walk up and down the hall with them sometimes and see if anyone wants some."

Not that he hasn't been busy. Crabb, who leaves the office Jan. 1, has had a very productive 12 years as mayor. He's proud of many of the accomplishments made during those times, though he hesitates to take full credit for any of them. Even his initial decision to run for mayor, he said, was pushed on by others.

"I didn't run for mayor until I was 64," he said. "I was still working for the school, so I knew a lot of people, and I had businesspeople and local republicans asking me if I would run. They wanted to get a name everyone already knew on the ticket. I guess you can say that they kind of talked me into it."

When he came in, however, he wasn't expecting such a long time in office.

"Really, I didn't expect such a long term," said Crabb. "To be honest, I thought I'd only be there two terms by my choice. I debated when time for my third term came around, but there was a lot I needed to get done, so I ran. The fourth term, honestly, was just me being busy and wanting to stay busy."

Crabb explained that he will stay active after his retirement, but definitely not in the same manner.

"My wife Phyllis and I plan on traveling," he said. "She fell ill right around election time, so we haven't had a lot of time to discuss it, but from what we have talked about, we want to travel.

"We have a daughter on the east coast," he continued. "And grandsons. We don't get to see them very often and we'd definitely like to see them more. Our sons are in Indiana, so they're only an hour, two hours away."

His travel plans don't strictly revolve around family, though.

"I've never had a point in my life where we can go south in the winter for two weeks, three weeks, a month," he explained. "I'd like to be able to do that. At the school, you made all your plans around Christmas break, and we went on trips with students and kids.

"We haven't really traveled on our own. When we get Phyllis back up on her feet and at 100 percent, we're going to do just that."

As mayor, Crabb has taken on countless tasks to make Brazil what it is today. When asked what accomplishment he is proudest of, he answered quickly:

"When we came into office the town was desperate for money," he said. "Back unemployment had not been paid for seven years, for instance... we were in desperate straights. We cut a lot of corners for a good couple years, but after that, Brazil's always had a positive balance at the end of the year, always."

He said that his budget work "undoubtedly" were reasons behind his subsequent reelections, though the town has accomplished much more than that.

"We've done so much with the water, and the sewers, and the sidewalks, and everything else," he said, explaining some of the work the town has put into renovations. "We also have the recycling venture, that's ten years old now, it's been saving the town money for a long time."

He also spoke extensively of the work the Parks Board has done on Brazil's various parks, renovating, expanding, and beautifying them to the point they're at today.

"We've added three new shelters and replaced two old ones in my time here," he said. "We've fixed the toilet situation. We've done things with the pool, as well. Forest Park is great. It's used so much... the Clay Youth League uses it, and the YMCA's doing a great job with the softball diamond. Craig Park has been greatly expanded from what it was, and Northview is extremely happy with the cross country course there. The Parks Board has a lot of ideas that I'm sure will be a welcome addition, too."

Though his time left in office is short, Mayor Crabb has some things to get done before he vacates the office.

"I've been carrying out my daily duties," he said when asked about his average day after election. "I've been thinking up the personal things I'm going to pack up and take with me when I go, too, but I haven't started packing yet. My desk is still a mess.

"In a way it's been less stressful since election," he continued. "I'm still at it, though. I'm actually working with Tom Arthur now to lease a new trash truck, since one of ours is basically shot and it would take too much to repair."

When asked how the experience had changed him, he was brief but clear:

"We've had a lot of positive things happen in my time here," he said. "We've all done a lot of good stuff with the town."

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