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Suburban Spotlight

This week, Bartlett bid farewell to veteran Alderwoman Emily Elliott, who officially stepped down from the elected position she held for almost 24 years.

The death of Elliott’s husband, Denis, last year left her with the need to move out of Bartlett. More on that in a minute.

Elliott’s resignation is the first of a major shift in the suburb’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen that will occur in the latter part of this year. Four positions – mayor and three of the alderman seats – are on the Nov. 8 municipal ballot.

And none of those four incumbents will return to their offices.

We have told you about Elliott’s status. Mayor Keith McDonald will not seek reelection after five terms in the suburb’s top position, and Position 1 Alderman W.C. “Bubba” Pleasant, in office since 2007, also is stepping down.

The other alderman on the ballot, David Parsons, in Position 3 since January 2003, is leaving that office to run for the mayor’s spot that McDonald is vacating.

That’s a lot of experience – and a lot of turnover – leaving the suburb’s elected offices.

But there’s another point to Elliott’s departure. With the death of her husband, she didn’t need the large home where she raised a family.

The events left Elliott looking for a home designed for empty-nesters. And Bartlett doesn’t have a large inventory of that type of housing.

“My house is just too big, and it will be going on the market,” Elliott said in announcing her intentions in March. “I will have to move out of Bartlett because, unfortunately, we do not have anything that’s zero-lot, HOA, smaller square footage.”

It should be noted that Elliott’s lobbying for that type of housing isn’t something that emerged in the last year. She has tried to get the city to recognize the need for some time.

“I’ve been harping on it for a long time. We need some 55-and-above developments with smaller square footage lots where you pay an HOA fee because it’s just overwhelming to deal with house and yard maintenance,” Elliott said this spring. “To be able to do that and make my life simpler, unfortunately, I have to go out of Bartlett.”

With that, Elliott will change residency from Bartlett to the Arlington area and a new home she is building designed to better fit her needs. - Suburbs editor Clay Bailey 

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