A Look Back at T.J. Patterson's 20 Years of Service
It's a new chapter for the Lubbock City Council, but it's been a long journey for T.J. Patterson who looks to his new future but remembers the past.
"It's been a blessing to be able to serve the City of Lubbock for 20 years, and we served everyday," says Patterson.
It's the end of a 20 year-long service to the Lubbock community. He was the first African American to be elected to the Lubbock City Council in 1984, and he leaves his seat with a lifetime of accomplishments.
"You know he has a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge. He'll be missed, but T.J. did a great job for the city, and he's done an outstanding job in his district the last 20 years," says Mayor Marc McDougal.
He says that Patterson will be remembered for the countless times he marched Lubbock streets protesting drugs and violence.
"Marching in front of drug houses, crack houses, and trying to rid the streets of crime in that part of the city," recalls Mayor McDougal.
More recently, his vision for northeast Lubbock and the work he's done to help make it economically strong.
"To see the opportunity to develop the north and east part of Lubbock to me is very significant. It's going to take 15-20 years before it becomes a reality, but we'll know it begun while we were there," says Patterson.
While Patterson makes the transition into his new life, Mayor McDougal says he looks forward to working with the newly elected city councilman Floyd Price.
"He has a lot of energy and enthusiasm just like T.J. does, and I'm sure he'll get right in there and get to work and be another full time councilman for us," says McDougal.
"I'm going to work hard. I'm going to be a servant. I'm going to try to bring everybody along with me that's going to have expertise and the know-how of how to get this done," says Price.
Including Patterson who Price says he will look to for guidance in his new position.
"I'm going to be asking him some questions and ask for some answers from him," says Price.
T.J.'s first piece of advice: to answer the phone.
"I'll share one thing with the incoming council brother. You better keep that phone on because they're going to wear you to death," confesses Patterson.
But Mayor McDougal says that the second floor of city hall won't be the same without Patterson's energy and enthusiasm.
"I guess T.J.'s been up on the second floor longer than anyone up there, including the city employees, so it'll certainly be different up there on Thursdays without T.J.," he says.
Patterson says he will continue to work on the north and east development project. Floyd Price will be sworn in on July 7th.