TREASURE ISLAND – For the city of Treasure Island, St. Patrick’s Day 2009 was more than a reason to eat corned beef. It also marked the end of an era.
Mary Maloof’s 19-year tenure as mayor, commissioner and civic servant came to an end. Maloof relinquished her position in a ceremony March 17 prior to the City Commission meeting, which featured a barbershop quartet.
Deputy mayor Bob Minning was installed as the new mayor and Carol Coward was installed to replace Minning’s open seat on the commission.
Maloof began the ceremony by listing what she though was some of her accomplishments, highlighted by the replacement of the Treasure Island Causeway Bridge.
When she learned that U.S. Congressman Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, read her name into the congressional record, Maloof became emotional.
“I don’t want to cry. I just want to say thanks,” she said.
After Minning and Coward were sworn in, a parade of dignitaries, friends and common citizens spoke thanking Maloof for her service.
“I remember licking stamps for her in her first campaign,” Heidi Horack said. “She’s been a great inspiration.”
“You led us through some tough times,” former Mayor Julian Fant said. “We owe you a huge debt.”
“No one has had better contacts,” former city manager Chuck Coward said.
One resident referred to Maloof as “the Mother Teresa of Treasure Island.”
When the speakers began, Maloof occasionally dabbed her moist eyes. Before the speakers concluded, her moist eyes became a river of tears.
Minning read a proclamation and insisted “this is not a sad time but a happy time. Mary Maloof is and always will be a friend of Treasure Island.”
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Maloof said. “This is one of the most wonderful days of my life.”