As an opportunity to say farewell and thank you to now former Mayor Rod Hortenstine, the city is hosting a reception Tuesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Taylor Public Library, located at 801 Vance St.
Hortenstine resigned his position as Taylor mayor Dec. 1, the last day of a medical leave of absence that began in mid-summer. He had served as mayor since 2008 and was elected to the at-large position in 2005. That spot is up for election in May, and any Taylor resident can file for it.
Hortenstine cited a new business opportunity as the reason for resigning his position.
“I had to resign because the city attorney said it was a conflict of interest, so that’s why I resigned,” Hortenstine said. “That was a very difficult decision to make, but the opportunity that I had was a business venture with Frankie Limmer.”
Former Precinct Four County Commissioner Frankie Limmer owns End-op, which handles water supply for utility providers.
“It’s one of those decisions that’s very difficult to make, but when it comes down to money, at 70 years old, I can take some more,” said the former engineer. “I’m worried about what I can do for my grandkids, and this is going to give my grandkids a hell of a lot of money.”
Hortenstine said that he’s been working on the opportunity about two weeks and was given 2 percent of the $300 million business.
“I couldn’t turn it down,” said the father of two and grandfather of five, the oldest of which is 13. “I’ll be able to put (my grandkids) through college – that’s my goal.”
Still, the choice to resign from all positions with the city after 33 years of combined service was an emotional one for Hortenstine.
“When I came to Taylor and went to work, I fell in love with Taylor,” said Hortenstine, who has been here since 1979 and married a native Taylorite. “I love everything about Taylor. The people are great. I guess I could say that the community as a whole is great, and most of us work together to make the community a better place to live and that’s my interest.”
“I love the (city) staff and the people of Taylor, and it’s very emotional for me,” Hortenstine added. “Maybe I can handle (the reception), but it’s not going to be easy.”