Emotions were running high at Tuesday night's Palos Heights City Council meeting as Ald. Art Phillips stepped down from his position after 23 years of service.
Phillips was the longest serving member on the council and has most recently chaired the water and sewer committee. Fellow alderman spoke of Phillips' generosity to his colleagues and willingness to take on issues he believed in.
Mayor Bob Straz announced that Phillips will be given the title of honorary city ambassador.
"I'm not retiring, I am still going to be around and help when I can," Phillips said.
He sat on the council through several mayoral administrations, including the turbulent late 1990s. Phillips said that within the past 10 years the city has been on a noticeable upswing.
Fellow alderman will miss the advice their most-senior colleague offered.
"Art is just such a terrific mentor," said fellow 4th Ward alderman Michael McGrogan.
Phillips is a World War II veteran and has lived in Palos Heights for 35 years.