Hundreds of well-wishers filled the Community Hall at the Bartlesville Community Center Wednesday to honor former City Manager Ed Gordon.
Gordon retired Wednesday after a 27-year career with the city of Bartlesville, the last 12 years as city manager.
Bartlesville Mayor Dale Copeland said Gordon is a pillar in the community, state and nation for who a leader should be.
“Ed Gordon exemplifies servant leadership,” Copeland said. “His service is first to his Lord, and then to his family, and finally to his friends — which is all of us. We all benefit because of that. … He leaves a city staff that is an amazing staff. For a city our size, we have a tremendous staff that delivers all the services and programs that we need and benefit from.”
Gordon introduced his immediate and work family during the reception, saying they were his rock.
“Thank you, to all of you, for allowing me to do this and live my dream,” Gordon said.
Former and current city councilors, long-time staff members and the crowd inside the Community Center gave Gordon several standing ovations for his service to the community and state.
In addition to Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum declaring Wednesday as “Ed Gordon Day” in the city of Tulsa, Gordon also received an official proclamation from Gov. Mary Fallin, state Sen. Julie Daniels, and state Reps. Earl Sears and Travis Dunlap, thanking Gordon for his service to Oklahoma.
City staff also gave Gordon a new pistol as a goodbye gift. Gordon is a collector of firearms.
Prior to saying his final farewell as city manager, Gordon told the crowd that although the city government is a business, there must be compassion from all elected officials and city staff.
“At the end of the day, the only heart the city has is what you give it,” he said. “And if it doesn’t have any more heart than what it does, it’s your fault. So, work with compassion in the city — thinking about the decisions you make and how it will impact those in the city.”