Mobile City Councilman Reggie Copeland will retire on November 4, after 28 years of service to his city. In keeping with “Hidden Agenda” tradition, I present a really bad poem honoring the council president’s long and distinguished service. Yes, it’s terrible poetry. Yes, it rhymes. Yes, it’s sappy, but, hey, it’s a farewell tradition of mediocrity this columnist is determined to keep. Good Luck, Reggie. You will be missed.

Ode To Reggie C

Oh my! Oh me! Say it can’t be!
Is it really time to say goodbye to Reggie C?

He has proudly served the citizens of District Five since the mid ‘80s
Replacing a commission form of government that was considered quite shady

Before becoming a councilor he was a basketball referee
When he became council president, those skills came in handy

He used his gavel gently, but he was also strong
Never letting Ms. Antone or the other council regulars go on for too long

Tap, Tap, Tap, he would have to pound occasionally
To quiet bickering among fellow councilors or the loquacious Freddie D

He was known as the council’s sports guy
And it’s easy to see why

He worked tirelessly to bring bowl games here
And with his help, our golf courses became among the state’s premiere

When some snarky LA reporter called Ladd-Peebles stadium “crappy”
He said, we have got to make some improvements … and make it snappy

But the Mobile Tennis Center is probably his biggest sports legacy
When he went to the council and asked for more courts, they thought he was crazy

It is only fitting that center now bears his name, along with former pro Newton Cox
Tennis players across the Southeast, all think Mobile’s facility really rocks

Copeland is also proud of his work revitalizing downtown
Redevelopment and the Convention Center are some of the jewels in his crown

In seven terms, he had only one real challenger to defeat
But he did just that and narrowly kept his seat

He called his opponent’s excessive use of an expense account a flub
Supposedly he was eating too much grub at The Bienville Club

He also had some trouble with a nasty letter writer named John Bell
But Reggie basically just told him to go to hell

He also had a softer side; he so loved his “beautiful bride”
And always spoke of his kids and grandkids with such pride

When he lost her, some were scared we would lose him soon after
But luckily he found love again, and started another “beautiful” chapter

But aside from all of these accomplishments, he was always his own man
Never the mayor’s guy or just the anti-mayor, on his own two legs he would stand

When hot button items hit the agenda, you never knew which way Reggie would go
Considering each issue on its own merit, his votes were never automatically yes or no

He would state his reasons why calmly, never in a voice obnoxious or loud
For this deliberate and honest approach, he should be most proud

For Reggie Copeland never served himself; he served his city
Losing a leader like him at Government Plaza is a great pity

But for generations to come, long after all of our ashes return to this land
Kids will be running up to Copeland-Cox, racquet in hand