Mayor, City Manager Express Appreciation to Roberts, McLeroy For Service, Guidance To City And Leaders
Sulphur Springs City Secretary Gale Roberts administered the oath of office to Nate Smith, the new city attorney, and Natalie Darrow, the new city secretary, Tuesday evening during her last City Council meeting. Both Roberts and City Attorney Jim McLeroy are retiring this year from the City of Sulphur Springs.
“I would like to publicly thank our retiring city attorney, Jim McLeroy. Thank you so much for your service to our our community and your wonderful advice to the council and myself to this long period of time. We wish you well in your endeavors. Thank you very much for your service,” Sulphur Springs Mayor John Sellers said.
“Jim is, of course, a very good friend and will be missed. His value goes beyond what he can do in a courtroom and with legal documents. For me, he has been truly a counselor and a friend. I can’t tell you have many times he has said, ‘Marc, let me talk you down.’ I really appreciate that and our friendship,” City Manager Marc Maxwell said of McLeroy.
“Our City Secretary Gale Roberts, we are going to be celebrating some more for you also, but this is your last official City Council meeting and I want to also thank you for your service to this city, to this council, to this manager, keeping him straight most of the time,” Sellers said with a laugh. “Thank you so much. We wish you well, please, and Jim you as well, please do not be strangers to this city. Thank you.
Maxwell said the saying “behind every man is a good woman is true.” He, however, is fortunate to have the support of two good women in his life, the ‘wonderful woman” he’s married to and Gale Roberts.
“Gale and I have worked together for 17 1/2 years. You work together that long with somebody, you either hate their guts or you love them. I love her. She has picked me up so many times when I’ve been down, and had my back so many times when I needed it,” Maxwell said.
He said the city department heads can be heard giggling when he and Roberts bicker back and forth, as friends do after knowing and working together for an extended period of time.
“You are dear friend and have been a most competent city secretary. Thank you so much,” Maxwell told Roberts.
“Thank you. It’s been my pleasure,” Roberts said.
Darrow has been working with Roberts and Smith with McLeroy for a few months, becoming familiar with the job to make the transition as smooth as possible. McLeroy will remain available to assist Smith through the end of the year. Roberts will stay on as assistant secretary until her retirement.
Family and friends for both Darrow and Smith were in attendance at the Dec. 7, 2021, City Council meeting.
Darrow has worked for the City of Sulphur Springs for 25 years, starting in records at the task force, and now is the records manager and computer systems specialist at Sulphur Springs Police Department. She has been working periodically alongside Roberts, learning some of the duties, and has even filled in for her on occasion while the city secretary was on vacation.
Philip Nathan “Nate” Smith Jr. Smith is an attorney at Smith & Smith Law Firm in Sulphur Springs, specializing in civil law including the areas of consumer and family litigation, commercial litigation, personal injury, and wills, trusts and probate. He has been with the family practice for 10 years, starting as a paralegal. The Winnsboro High School graduate went to Texas A&M School of Law, where he graduated in 2013 with a doctor of jurisprudence. He said his time at Smith & Smith Law Firm, which has five attorneys and 15 employees, and working with has helped prepare him to become city attorney.
Smith knows the city’s issues, knowledge that goes beyond just the law, but the ins and outs of the city, including personnel, and thus seems a “natural fit,” City Manager Marc Maxwell said when announcing his intent to recommend him to the City Council for the position of city attorney.
McLeroy said he is thankful to have been involved in the process of recommending such a sharp attorney to serve as is replacement. He expressed confidence in leaving the city in the hands of someone very capable for the future.
A retirement reception is planned for Jim McLeroy this month and one will be held for Roberts in January, city officials reported.