D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Bobby Eleuterius' last minute decision to withdraw his application for D'Iberville city manager still has people scratching their heads in disbelief. Most people figured Eleuterius was a shoo-in to take over the city's day-to-day operations.
"Whether he did it for one year, two years or three years, they wanted Bobby Eleuterius," said Harrison County Supervisor Windy Swetman.
He was one of several friends who spoke with Eleuterius on Wednesday and urged him to resubmit his application. But, Eleuterius said thanks, but no thanks.
"I've had health problems," the former city manager candidate said a day after his decision to get out of the race. "But my health seems to have improved 100 percent since I got away from this. And I don't want to get back into that arena."
Eleuterius spent the early part of Wednesday having breakfast and lunch at Mikey's Cafe. Everybody who came up to him urged the former supervisor to rethink his decision.
Johnny Fayard is one of his fishing buddies.
"I just told Bobby I would support any decision he's made," Fayard said. "But I reminded him of the good he could do for the city. And in his heart, that's what Bobby wanted."
The city manager position paid $66,000. But because Eleuterius was a retired supervisor, he was only eligible for $11,000, if he took the job.
"Bobby Eleuterius doesn't need a job," Swetman said. "Certainly there's no monetary value in this to him. It's his value in his city that he loves. And this city needs him."
But Eleuterius said he realized over the weekend he had a real sour taste in his mouth about getting back into politics. And blamed that negative feeling on newspaper reports that inferred he was plotting behind the scenes to become D'Iberville's next city manager. Eleuterius co-hosted a campaign fundraiser for Mayor Rusty Quave that raised $7,000.
"To that possibility that the public thought that I had control over a council to make them hire me, and to change all the qualifications was simply wrong," Eleuterius said. "I decided just to simply shut the door on that and go back to private life and remain there."
When Eleuterius was asked if anything could change his mind and make him decide he wanted to be the city manager of D'Iberville, he said, "Not that I can think of at this point. I don't think there's any chance in the world that I'm going to come back into the public arena. I've had it."
After Bobby Eleuterius's announcement, the D'Iberville City Council tabled any further talk about the city manager position. The city had three other finalists for that job, Donnie Holloway, Joe Tuggle and Christy Wheeler. D'Iberville Mayor Rusty Quave said he wasn't sure if one of them would ultimately be selected to fill the city manager vacancy.