After forty five years of service to the City of Smithville, including sixteen years as mayor and six years as alderman, Cecil Burger has decided to call it quits once his term expires June 30.
Mainly because of his health, Burger will not be seeking re-election as aldermen this summer. "I've got a little health problem and I've decided that I might not be able to do the job I should", said Burger.
In twenty two years, Burger never lost an election, having first been elected mayor in 1990. He served eight terms, sixteen years in that office until 2006 when he chose instead to run for alderman. Burger will be completing his third term as alderman this year.
He began his career with the city in 1966 as secretary-treasurer, which also meant overseeing the city's public works operation and city employees. He served as city judge for the first couple of years as well. Burger retired from the secretary-treasurer position in 1989 but came out of retirement fifteen months later after being elected mayor in 1990.
During his time with the city as an employee, Burger served under dozens of aldermen and nine mayors starting with Othel Smith, John Bill Evins, Charles Gentry, Edward Frazier, Gary Gus Johnson, Hilton Conger, Waniford Cantrell, Dewey Love, and Bruce Medley.
In an interview with WJLE, Burger said he appreciates all the support he has received during his career with the city. "The people have been good to me and I appreciate it very much. They supported me well and I'd still help them if I could," said Burger.
"We (city) grew a right smart while I was mayor and we tried to serve the whole city. I don't know of anything special (we did) only trying to do our work with everybody. I had a lot of good help. I appreciate my friends who have helped me out all these years. They helped me when I was mayor and still do. I have plenty of friends. I've tried to treat them like I wanted to be treated," said Burger.