Mayors' good sportsmanship reflected in golf, tennis

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lewisburg's Mayor-elect Barbara Woods was nowhere to be found during the several days after her landslide victory last Tuesday because she kept a date with several golfing buddies, she said over the weekend.

And in doing so, Woods seems to have modified an explanation used by Mayor Bob Phillips who's maintained a Tuesday appointment with tennis partners. During those hours on the tennis court, Phillips is usually unavailable.

"Bob often says he's 'at court,'" Woods said Monday, apparently aware that Phillips frequently plays with City Attorney Bill Haywood who's been known to appear at City Council meetings properly attired for such court appearances.

"I'm going to say, 'I'm on course,'" the golfing mayor-elect said.

Woods has taken an annual golf trip with a number of women. The outing has usually been in early June, but this year, "They move it up and I told them I couldn't go...

"The ladies from Pulaski were having a ball with it because they didn't know I was running," Woods continued about other golfers who are, otherwise, unknown to Lewisburg residents, although one of them might be remembered here: Peggy Fortune, now Stanley, a former Lewisburg resident.

So, with her self-declared interest in a sport that could result in invitations to charity golf matches, Woods says, "I play terrible golf."

Her handicap is 23, according to a card in her purse that she had to look at to know the number..

During the recent golf trip she "came in second from th end," Woods said. "Maybe I was over tired" from the campaign.

Nevertheless, Woods was swinging clubs instead of focusing on the better publicized activity at her friends' golfing destination -- Tunica, Miss.

Gambling at the casinos there wasn't her cup of tea.

"You would think that," she said of Tunica because of the town's casinos. "But we both (she and Peggy Fortune) were brought up in Lewisburg afraid to lose money.

"I don't like to see my money wasted," Woods said. "I can't stand that. I want to see my money bring the most."

Having declared herself a fiscal conservative, Woods also explained how it was that she didn't have a victory party at her house: "I wasn't going to do that."

Larry Godbey, an engineer at the Teledyne plant here, hosted the victory party at his home. There's more parking on his street and he volunteered when he heard Woods say she wasn't going to have a party, she said.

He's among "a group of mutual friends who meet for dinner," she said of the victory party o 14-15 people including relatives, campaign treasurer Lee Bowles and some neighbors.

Meanwhile, Woods and Phillips listed similar reasons on why she was elected.

"The respect the community has for Barbara already," Phillips said. "She's volunteered her services already."

The retired teacher and principal is chairman of the city-county Curbside Recycling Committee. It's largely been responsible for implementing the service that's provided every household with a "roll-out cart" for recyclable materials that are collected weekly.

"I think it was name recognition," Woods said of a chief reason for her election. "Voters know me from school and other things and thought I'd be effective and know I'd be effective and know I'll work hard at it... anything I do."

Phillips said traditionally newly elected mayors and council members are sworn in on June 1, a Monday this year. It can be done earlier, but his term ends on May 31. City Treasurer Connie Edde, who also serves as city recorder, has been the official who usually administers the oath of office.