Gladewater, Texas, 5/2/2012 – Mayor Walter Derrick is retiring from 22 years service to the City of Gladewater. He will turn over his gavel on May 17th to the new mayor following the May 12th election. City Manager Sean Pate and City Secretary Melba Haralson are hosting a reception to honor him on TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2012 AT 6:00 PM AT THE GLADEWATER FORMER STUDENTS’ BUILDING.
Mayor Derrick has been instrumental in the creation of Gladewater’s “Bumblebee Park”, participation in the HOME Grant Program, in the planning for Gladewater’s new Water Treatment Plant and the Main Street Project. Locally he serves with Gladewater’s Meals on Wheels and reads to students at Gay Avenue Elementary School. A member of the East Texas Council of Governments, he was active as a member of the East Texas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Gregg County Crimestoppers, Gladewater Habitat for Humanity and Manna House. He is a member, Treasurer and Deacon Board Chairman at Pine Grove Baptist Church, Gilmer.
A product of East Texas, Walter Derrick graduated Valedictorian of Weldon High School in Gladewater, studied at Huston-Tillotson College, SFA, ETSU and UT Tyler and earned BA & MA degrees from Texas College, Tyler. He was Gladewater’s first black coach and the first black member of the Gladewater Round-up Rodeo Association and the Gladewater Economic Development Corporation. First appointed to the City council to fill a vacancy in 1990, Derrick was elected Mayor Pro-Tempore in 1993. (Only black mayor in history of Gladewater) He served in that office until 2008 when he was elected Mayor and has served two terms in that post. After 22 years, Derrick has said that it’s time to turn the reigns over to someone else.
Mayor Derrick is respected and admired by Gladewater citizens. He has brought the Gladewater community together with his calm demeanor, his sense of fairness and his integrity. The public is invited to join us in celebration to thank him for sharing his time and talent with the City. For more information, contact Susan Thomas, or Melba Haralson at 903-845-2196.