PENDLETON — For the last 13 years Don Henderson has served as Pendleton Town Council president, but the council meeting tonight will be the last.
Henderson joined the board in 1999 and took over the role of president in 2000. He said together the board has done a lot of good things for Pendleton over the course of his term.
“My goal has always been to make us an oasis people wanted to come to,” Henderson said. “I wanted to make the town self-sufficient and I believe we’ve done that.”
Henderson said there are several accomplishments he’s proud of during his time as council president, all aimed at making Pendleton a place people want to visit and live.
He said the industrial park, built on land the state government gave the town, was one of the biggest keys to unlocking financial independence for the town.
Because of the industrial park, Pendleton has been able to have a say in what businesses move in to the area. Henderson said this has allowed the town leaders to pick which direction they want to head.
He also credited getting the town on the historic register, eliminating truck traffic and building a new fire station as other big steps to making Pendleton a nice place to live.
Henderson is retiring with two years left on his term but said this year was the time to leave the public service.
“I’ve said for years by the time I reached 80 I would be retired,” Henderson, who turned 80 in May, said. “It’s time for me to step aside.”
He said he thinks at a certain point, people, no matter how popular, start losing relevance. At a certain point, other people need to have a turn running things.
While the Town Council meeting tonight is Henderson’s last one, he said he will still be attending various meetings as the president until the end of the year.