Mayor misses his final council meeting

Pine Bluff Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr. missed his final city council meeting Monday night.

The reason for the absence of Redus, who will be replaced by Debe Hollingsworth on Jan. 1, wasn’t certain. Senior council member Irene Holcomb, stepping down after 23 years in her post, acted as mayor in her final meeting. The city’s first black alderwoman, she’ll be succeeded by her son, Lloyd Holcomb Jr.

Irene Holcomb, who stated she hadn’t expected to occupy the mayor’s chair in her finale, said she’s not sure of the mayor’s whereabouts.

“I just don’t know where he’s at or what’s going on,” she said, “and I don’t want to speculate. I am sorry that he missed the last meeting of his administration.”

Hollingsworth defeated Redus, a two-term incumbent, and seven other opponents in the Nov. 6 general election. Hollingsworth attended Monday’s council session, joining Holcomb’s council mates and audience members in giving Holcomb a standing ovation and a loud round of applause in appreciation for her leadership.

Holcomb, smiling, thanked everyone. After bidding farewell to the remaining council members, she told them, “Do a good job. I’ll be watching you.”

— Rick Joslin