The final Harrison County supervisors' meeting for 2007 was also the last time for two long time supervisors to participate as board members. Together, Bobby Eleuterius and Larry Benefield have 40 years on the board.
"Bobby stand up and show them what we're going to be doing," said Larry Benefield. "We're going to be greeters at Wal-Mart. "
As Bobby Eleuterius jokingly showed off his Wal-Mart employee uniform, he and Benefield knew they were about to find out what life is like after the Harrison County Board of Supervisors. For Benefield, it's been a 16 year ride.
"The people, the personnel in this county are very dedicated," Benefield said. "We love you dearly. You'll always be our friends and family. Bobby and I look forward to greener pastures, I guess. I'm a little bit different. Everybody keeps saying retirement. Bobby's retiring. I'm looking for a job. "
Fellow board members praised Benefield and Eleuterius for their leadership through jail troubles and the country's most devastating natural disaster.
District 5's Connie Rockco said, "You were there with your knowledge and expertise. We're gonna miss you."
"It's really just been a great experience," said William Martin of district 4. "It's been its ups and downs, but that's part of politics, that's part of public service. And I've really enjoyed serving with you guys."
Marlin Ladner added, "Ditto what they said. Best of luck, both of y'all, in the future."
Bobby Eleuterius joined the Board of Supervisors in 1984. His thoughts at his last meeting as an elected official were not only of his past tenure, but also of the future.
He said, "I, with the three remaining, Connie, William and Marlin and the two new members Kim [Savant] and Windy [Swetman} all the best in the future. You are our leaders and I will pray for your continued success. God bless all of you and God bless Harrison County."
Larry Benefield says he's not sure what he will do, but he does plan to devote more time to his development business.