DENHAM SPRINGS – Arthur Perkins returned to familiar territory.
The Denham Springs City Council, in its regular meeting April 11, unanimously agreed to appoint the longtime former member an interim councilman.
He will fill the seat Chris Davis vacated when he resigned March 31. Davis stepped down to relocate to Mississippi, where he accepted a job at Stennis Space Center in Waveland.
“Mr. Perkins has guided the city for all these years to the place we are today,” Mayor Gerard Landry said. “In order to make sure we maintain the values we’ve enjoyed all these years, Mr. Perkins has agreed to step up and fill the vacancy since Mr. Chris Davis has moved to Mississippi.”
The council also approved a resolution calling for a special election Oct. 14 to fill the remainder of the term.
Perkins, 82, said he does not plan to run for the seat.
He served 36 years on the council, beginning in 1974. He remained a member all but four years when he chose not to seek reelection in 2014.
“I jokingly called Mr. Perkins and asked if he’d consider doing this, and I reminded him that I asked two or three years ago if he would run for council again, and he said he was going to go ahead and retire, so I was obviously disappointed because I wanted to serve with Mr. Perkins,” Landry said.
Perkins will officially assume the seat at the April 25 meeting.
“I really missed the people I worked with,” he said. “I didn’t necessarily miss all the phone calls, but what I missed more was the opportunity to help this city.”
Retirement has not been quiet for Perkins. He stayed busy with work in numerous civic and charity projects, particularly with the West Livingston Kiwanis Club and work at the Lockhart Community Center.
He also kept an active eye on the city government.
“I think Mayor Landry and the Council has done an excellent job moving the city forward after what has been a very difficult period with the flood and losing City Hall,” Perkins said.
The Great Flood of 2016 also kept him busy after his home took in three inches of water.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t pull the baseboards for two weeks, and after that, the water went up a foot,” Perkins said. “A contractor put me down on a list, but instead of waiting, I did it myself. I’m two rooms short of completion.”
Perkins taught mathematics and later served as principal at the old West Livingston School on Martin Luther King Drive until it closed in 1970.
He moved to Albany High School, where he taught until his retirement in 1998.