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Saturday, August 20, 2022

Cherry to Leave City in “Good Hands”

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By Tammy Moore Teague
In a few days there will be a change in leadership within the City of Waldron. However, current Mayor Neil Cherry leaves big shoes to fill. Cherry stated upon his departure he’s leaving the city “in good hands” with Mayor-Elect David Millard.
Cherry has led the city these past few years with great heart and compassion. His departure and decision not to run saddened many residents and community members. It’s evident that throughout his tenure, his decisions and actions reflected the best interest of the City of Waldron.
“During my tenure of working with him I knew that he had great Christian morals and integrity. He always had the City of Waldron’s best interest at heart. I am honored to be able to call him my friend,” stated Millard.
Cherry has spent a lifetime serving others and is truly the heartbeat of his beloved town. Personally, it has been a great privilege to get to know Cherry, and learn his story. Anyone who visits his office and city hall will note the signs that read “In God We Trust.” Cherry is strong and steadfast in his faith and openly expresses his love for Christ. He’s taken this same message abroad with him on mission trips accompanied by his church.
Also adorning his office walls, the shadowbox reflecting the precious memories of his son who served in the military, and a pair of worn black cowboy boots sitting on a shelf in his office. These are the same boots he campaigned door-to-door in.
Those who work with him are all quick to share their emotions regarding Cherry’s departure. And, anyone who visits city hall feels the hospitality of family and home.
City Clerk/Treasurer Sherry Johnston, who works with Cherry on a daily basis, reflected on a lifetime of memories. “I have enjoyed working with Neil at the city during this past four years while he’s been in office as Mayor. However, we have actually worked together for many years and been lifelong friends. Our families have been intertwined for many years. When my husband Butch first moved to Waldron, his dad was the first feed mill manager and came when it was being constructed. Butch met Neil when Butch was about 10 years old and Neil began working at the feed mill for Butch’s dad. The original poultry business here in Waldron was AVI. Later in life, Butch worked for Neil as the store manager at Cherry Auto Parts, the NAPA parts store Neil owned and operated. I first met Neil’s dad, Herbert Cherry, when I was a teenager. He had an airplane and I would take rides with him occasionally. Herb was also a carpenter and he built lots of homes around here, including one for my parents during the late 1960’s. I have worked with Neil through community events before he came into office as mayor and I have a business relationship through my income tax business.” Johnston agrees that Cherry will be one who cannot be replaced and has been a great friend and colleague.
Cherry has spent countless hours working with businesses, laboring to bring commerce to the city. During his time, he has overseen many new business constructions and the new City Park. One of the achievements he’s most proud of is obtaining the access point on Highway 71 bypass for future business development. It will allow for a street to connect to the 71 Bypass between Harp’s and the former Wal-Mart property. Additionally, he has overseen the sidewalk construction along West 6th St from Elm to Harp’s Foods, and has overseen the water and sewer improvements during the past four years.
Cherry’s time as mayor can certainly be celebrated, and he will be missed by all. It truly has been a pleasure to get to work with him. In my 20 years of working with city leaders, I cannot recall a mayor whom was more dedicated, caring and faithful. May God continue to bless you my friend. Thank you for all you’ve done for the city and for others!

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Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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  1. Our church in Iowa was blessed by Neil, his wife, and church family as their church ministered to our mission church. A great person and great family. (Feel free to share this with him.)