Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008 | 12:02 a.m.
If Bruce Woodbury still has any space on his walls, his final day on the County Commission last Wednesday yielded a few more proclamations and plaques to fill it.
Standing in front of a screen that played highlights of his years representing Henderson, Boulder City and rural Clark County, Woodbury received several tokens of gratitude and high praise at a farewell party for him and fellow outgoing Commissioner Chip Maxfield.
"It's kind of mixed emotions," Woodbury said a few minutes before the farewell, held after his final meeting. "It's just a strange feeling to think that I've been through my last commission meeting. I asked someone if I could take my chair with me. I've sat there for 28 years and I won't know what to do without it."
Woodbury was appointed to the County Commission in 1981, then elected to it in 1982. He had planned to run for a final term in November, but the Nevada Supreme Court ruled he was ineligible because of term limits passed in 1996. His successor, Steve Sisolak, is scheduled to be sworn in Jan. 5.
As Woodbury circulated through a room of county employees and other well-wishers, he said he felt a mixture of "nostalgia and sadness." On the bright side, he said, he is looking forward to a less hectic life.
"I'm just grateful for the opportunity people have given me for all these years of service," he said. "It's the greatest privilege and honor of my life for all of these people to have chosen me to serve them time after time."
Woodbury has been widely recognized as the leading voice in transportation and flood control issues, but those who attended the meeting said his actions over the year touched a range of issues too broad to list.
County Manager Virginia Valentine quipped that Woodbury's achievements had to be edited for his proclamation to fit within a frame.
"This is a true story," she said. "We wrote a proclamation for Bruce Woodbury and it went on for seven pages."
Henderson City Councilman Steve Kirk said Woodbury has been a strong supporter of Henderson over the years.
"Bruce really set the standard, I think, for all of us who have wanted to serve the public," Kirk said.
Woodbury said his goal in office was to be seen as an honest man.
"I hope people will think that I served with integrity, that they'll never have a doubt about my honesty and that I always put their interests first. That's what I tried to do and that's how I hope to be remembered."
As he spoke at his farewell celebration, Woodbury quipped about his longevity, noting the rare snowstorm that was growing stronger just outside the window.
"There's many people who spoke the truth in saying that it would be a very cold day in hell before you get rid of Woodbury," he said.
Jeremy Twitchell can be reached at 990-8928 or [email protected].