Robertson bids farewell at surprise retirement party

Bunkie mayor recalls eight years in office

Bunkie Mayor Mike Robertson stepped down this past Saturday (June 30) after serving eight years as mayor. He was replaced by former Bunkie City Councilman Bruce Coulon, who was elected unopposed earlier this year.

Robertson said his retirement Saturday brought to fruition his efforts as mayor.

A few days earlier, on June 21, Bunkie city employees held a surprise retirement party for the mayor at Haas Auditorium. A shocked and surprised Robertson said he was expecting to attend a fireman’s meeting. Instead he was greeted by all of the city employees, the City Council members and many friends to wish him well in his life after public service.

Robertson had announced in mid-November that he would not seek re-election to a third term.

“Overall it brings an end to my working career with the City of Bunkie, my working with the best employees a mayor would ever want, and my dream of being elected City of Bunkie mayor,” Robertson said. “I have been honored to work with the city in two capacities, as a police officer and as mayor. “Over the past eight years I have been honored and humbled, having served the citizens of Bunkie as your mayor. It is an honor that I will carry with me the remainder of my life.”

He said he gave much thought and prayer before deciding not to seek re-election.

“There’s something surreal having been a part of something bigger than yourself,” Robertson said. “My journey through the past eight years seems like a dream. The time has passed much too fast. It’s been almost like a dream that when you wake up there’s a smile on your face and realizing time, too, passes like a dream.”

Robertson said he can look back and say he was honored to serve with the many city employees, department heads and aldermen who are dedicated to serving the citizens of Bunkie.

“I am so proud and will always be honored to have served with these men and women who do so much with so little,” he noted. “I am proud of the contributions they have made and will continue to make to our town.”

Robertson said running for an elected office is not about pride, vanity, personal gain or power. He said those are all the wrong reasons for a person to run for office.

“My term as an elected official has expired, but my zeal for our community has not,” he said. “My term has expired, but my flame has not. My vision is no less than what it was eight years ago when I asked for your vote.

“Look around ‘Bunkie.’ See what you have done, look at where you have gone, look up for God has blessed our community not by my hand but by His,” Robertson continued. “Each one of you has given in some small way to make a difference in our community. It’s because of the difference each of you and the other elected officials have made, we are now in a better position for future prosperity, growth, and a better place to live and raise your children.”

He wished Coulon the very best, saying he hopes the new mayor will achieve far greater things than those mayors who came before him.

His advice to Coulon was to keep his vision far above the horizon for great things come from above.

“I say thank you Bunkie, from the bottom of my heart, for without you our city would not be where we are today,” Robertson concluded. “I am truly grateful and honored to have served as mayor of the City of Bunkie. Rose Anna and I will continue to pray daily for our city, its citizens, future community leaders and elected officials.”

Robertson has been married to Rose Anna Neal Robertson for 46 years. They have two children, Michael Robertson of New York and Shaunn Robertson Harris of Gary, Texas. Both of his children surprised him by being at the retirement party as well as one of his two grandchildren, Katelynn Virginia Harris. His other grandchild, Kristina Rose Harris, was unable to attend.

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