At Tuesday night’s Bainbridge, City Council meeting, City Councilman Luther Conyers, Jr. was recognized for serving the City of Bainbridge for nearly 38 years.
Conyers, now 86, said he had decided it was time to step aside and let others have a chance to serve, although he said he would still take an active interest in local government.
Honoring Councilman Conyers on Tuesday night were: Mr. Michael Bryant, field representative for U.S. Congressman Sanford D. Bishop; Mr. Ken Vance, a 28-year-member of the Milledgeville, Ga., City Council who is the current executive director of the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council; and Georgia State Senator Dean Burke. The three men all thanked Mr. Conyers and presented him with plaques of recognition.
Senator Burke, who presented Conyers with a signed resolution from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, recently said of the veteran educator and councilman, “I was amazed at the number of people who came and spoke at his birthday party and told of how their lives had been directly been influenced by Mr. Conyers. Luther has never been a politician. He has always been a community servant. I’m proud to call him my friend.”
A longtime educator, Conyers was sworn onto the council on January 4, 1978. Earlier in life, Conyers attended what is now Savannah State University. He had several years of active service in the U.S. Army and later returned to Southwest Georgia to teach, starting in the 1940s and continuing into the 1990s.
Among his many achievements, Conyers was inducted into Georgia Municipal Association Hall of Fame in 2008 and in 2012, he received a Certificate of Distinction from the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) recognizing his many hours of continued education concerning local government issues.
Ken Vance said he met Conyers in 1982, shortly after Vance first became an elected city official in Milledgeville. Vance recalled a long meeting over coffee that he, Conyers and another civic leader had while in Atlanta for a Georgia Municipal Association meeting. Vance said Conyers taught him much about local government could benefit the community, and said he kept as a personal memento a napkin on which Conyers wrote one of his mottos: “There’s no telling what you can accomplish together if you don’t care who gets the credit.” Vance said Conyers continued to serve as his civic mentor over he former’s 28 years on the Milledgeville City Council; the two were also active on a committee formed to create training curriculum for other local mayors and councilmen.
Vance, who is currently the executive director of the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council–which implements training standards for the state’s law enforcement officers–surprised Conyers by giving him a pin that acknowledged the Bainbridge leader was now an “Honorary Georgia Police Officer.”
Conyers’ final action on the Bainbridge City Council meeting, held December 15, 2015, was to make a motion to approve payment of the city’s bills and award the bids listed on the meeting agenda. He was given a standing applause by all in attendance.
Conyers is also active in the Rotary Club, American Legion Post No. 502, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce. He is also served as the council’s liaison to the city’s Planning Commission and for many years, has taught students about planning and zoning issues during Bainbridge’s annual Student Government Days.
Mr. Kregg Close was elected to replace Councilman Conyers in District A, Post 4.