Town Council Says, ‘So Long, Smokey’

Highland Park Mayor William H. Seay Jr. presents a plaque to outgoing Councilman Bruce “Smokey” Swenson. His replacement, Stephen Rogers, can be seen between them. (Photo by Marty Nevil)

There was a small changing of the guard last night at Highland Park Town Hall. Bruce “Smokey” Swenson left the Town Council, and Steve Rogers was officially sworn in as his replacement.

As soon as Rogers finished taking the oath of office, Swenson stood up from his seat on the council, prompting Mayor Bill Seay to say, “Smokey’s making room for you.” Swenson held up his hands and said, “I’m done,” as he took a seat in the audience.

Seay told Swenson that he “truly enjoyed working with you” and presented him with a plaque and his Town Council name plate. Swenson also received a standing ovation from the crowd, which included former mayors Wade Smith and Gifford Touchstone.

Swenson appreciated all the accolades but said he didn’t need them. “I should thank you all for letting me serve,” he said, before advising everyone to follow in his footsteps: “You ought to get on the Town Council and find out how America works.”

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