Local mayor celebrates 50 years in office

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Reporter - Kendall Downing

MARION, Ill. - Five decades. That's how long Bob Butler's been behind the mayor's desk in Marion, Illinois. Tuesday morning the city paid tribute to his years of leadership.

It was the hottest ticket in town. A crowd filed into the Marion Cultural and Civic Center to say thank you to long-time mayor, Bob Butler.

"It's certainly been a privilege and a pleasure to serve the city of Marion through what I call its golden age," said Butler.

Songs filled the air, and slideshows filled the screen, showcasing the mayor's accomplishments and setbacks during his 50 years in office.

Butler said his goal's always been pushing Marion forward.

"A community is always moving one way or the other. It's either moving forward or sliding backward," said Butler.

And the community honored their mayor Tuesday, dedicating a new, life-size statue of the man who helped put Marion on the map.

"It's most touching and something I will always remember," said Butler.

Butler has plans to remain in office for two more years. If he finishes out his term, he'll be tied for the longest serving mayor in Illinois history.

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