Mobile city officials remembered Council President Levon Manzie for his work on behalf of constituents and lauded his ability to unify, after learning of his death this morning.
In a statement, Mayor Sandy Stimpson called the District 2 representative a “peacemaker,” who also looked out for the best interests of his constituents.
“While his focus was serving his constituents, his heart was for moving the entire city of Mobile forward,” Stimpson said in a statement. “It was Levon’s childhood dream to be a city councilman in his hometown – a dream he fulfilled as a truly dedicated public servant for the city he dearly loved. Jean and I join the entire city in mourning the loss of a great servant leader. Our thoughts and prayers are with Levon’s family, friends and his fellow city council members. He leaves behind a legacy as a man of faith and a compassionate unifier who made a positive impact on our entire community.”
On council being an ambition for Manzie, Councilwoman Bess Rich said in a statement that she first met him when he served on the city and county youth council as a student.
“I’ve known Levon since he served on the Youth Council for the City of Mobile,” she said in a statement. “His interest, knowledge and understanding of the needs of his constituents was paramount in his representation as a councilperson.”
Like other council colleagues, Rich also mourned Manzie and spoke about his dedication to the job.
“Levon made a huge difference and touched numerous people in his lifetime,” she said. “He will be long remembered and greatly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of working with him and knowing him. May his memory be a blessing.”
Council Vice President C.J. Small called Manzie a “man after God’s own heart” in a statement Monday morning. He called Manzie the “epitome of servant leadership.”
My brother will be greatly missed,” he said in a statement. “My warmest regards are extended to his family and his district. Please keep them in your prayers.”
Councilman Fred Richardson called Manzie an “ardent advocate” for his district and the city as a whole.
“I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and all the citizens of District 2 as well as the St. Joseph’s Missionary Baptist Church family,” he said in a statement.
Councilman John Williams shared a middle name with Manzie, which he was always reminded of, even when the two didn’t see eye to eye on issues.
“I will forever recall his never failing greeting of ‘Hello John Charles’ to which I‘d respond ‘Hello Levon Charles’ — leaving both of us smiling,” he said in a statement. “No doubt, (our) council president left the citizens our city a great example of how to live as a true civil servant. Farewell my friend.”
Councilman Joel Daves was elected to council the same year as Manzie. Despite having political differences, this link was never broken between the two. They developed a mutual respect.
“Although he experienced significant health challenges, he never let those challenges impair his attitude or willingness to work hard for his constituents,” Daves said in a statement. “His loss is a great loss not only for the residents of District 2, but for all the citizens of Mobile.”
Councilwoman Gina Gregory said in a statement she is heartbroken over the loss of Manzie. The two colleagues, she said, enjoyed a great working relationship.
“Levon has been a true servant leader for his district and our City,” she said. “His passion, vision and get the job done attitude will be greatly missed. Levon was always smiling and had an infectious laugh and positive attitude that made everyone feel good.”
Following Manzie’s death a question remains about what will happen in an upcoming runoff election in District 2. Lagniappe has reached out to City Clerk Lisa Carroll-Lambert and will update this story when the protocol becomes more clear.
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