Leonard Shepherd, a devout attendee of Ceres City Council meetings since 1997 and an outgoing member of the Measure H Oversight Committee, received special honor at Monday's meeting.
Mayor Chris Vierra said the city wanted to give Shepherd the special presentation before a planned surgery on his knees which will "limit his time here at council meetings."
"We sure will miss him and as a part of that we wanted to present him with a plaque," commented the mayor.
Shepherd is stepping off the Measure H Oversight Committee, which he served on since 2013. He also has previously served 13 years on the Tuolumne River Regional Park Citizens Advisory Committee.
"My goal in life was to help where I live," said Shepherd, a citizen of Ceres since June 1993. He got involved in city affairs after he retired from the CalFire in 1996.
"In 1997 I started coming to City Council meetings and let me tell you, some of the ones we've had in the past have been really boring," said Shepherd. "I like what I see up here now. There's people sitting up there who care and I think you care as much as I do about this city."
He said he felt his time on the Measure H committee was worthwhile, saying the half-cent sales tax has helped police and fire services.
Shepherd said he "may be back," acknowledging that it "depends on what happens but I am tired. I describe the callouses on my forehead from beating my head against the wall of apathy, people who won't come (to meetings). There's some fine folks that are coming now ... they're getting involved that's great. The people who live here and don't care are the ones that just make me feel kind of sad because they're not here. They're not seeing what their government can do to them and for them."