The city of Denison and members of the public honored outgoing Mayor Jared Johnson and City Council member Bill Malvern Monday with a reception ahead of their final council meeting. Both Malvern and Johnson had reached the end of their term limits and were not eligible for re-election earlier this month.

“What a pleasure it has been to get to serve beside this team,” Johnson said Monday.

Johnson and Malvern were elected as mayor and city council member, respectively, in 2012 and served two, three-year terms. Prior to his time as mayor, Johnson also served as a council member from 2005 through 2011.

For his part, Johnson said the successes he has seen over the past six years are not due to him alone, but instead a strong team of city employees and volunteers on the council.

“They are here for us — 23,000 of us — every day,” Johnson said. “I just got to be your cheerleader for six years, and it was pretty awesome.”

During a short speech during the reception, Johnson thanked his family, including his wife and kids, who were in attendance. Johnson said when he first stepped into the council, one of his two sons was not yet born. However, when he decided to become mayor, it was a family decision.

“There were going to be times when dad was going to be gone,” he said. “There were going to be a lot of Monday nights when dad is gone and there are going to be a lot of meetings, and I just want to thank you three.”

Among those who attended the reception were representatives for U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, who thanked Johnson for his service to the community over the past six years.

“Though your time as mayor has come to an end, I have no doubt that we have only begun to see the impact your efforts while mayor will have have on this community in the years ahead as the seeds you have planted take root and bear fruit,” Jason Ross, district chief of staff for Ratcliffe, said while reading a letter from the congressman.

Following the reception, Malvern was hugged and thanked for his service to the community over the past six years. While he did not speak during the reception, and held back tears after, Malvern said he had fond memories of the council and enjoyed the opportunity to represent the community.