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Outgoing mayor talks achievements, challenges and term limits

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(KYTX) -- Two longtime mayors in East Texas will soon bid farewell to the office, for no other reason than hitting their term limits. CBS19's Jaime Gerik spoke with City of Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass about her achievements, struggles, and legacy she leaves behind.

Bass was the first female mayor in Tyler's history.

It's been a wonderful ride and I've really enjoyed it," Bass said.

An accountant, Bass says as soon as she took office, the country's economy took a nosedive.

"I hope I'm one history shows I was in the right place at the right time, and really made a difference toward the community," Bass said.

Through the fiscal challenges, she says there was a strategic plan already in the works that served as her road map for what people wanted. She's especially proud of so much made possible through public-private partnerships.

 "I think Tyler really gets the message of by the people and for the people," Bass said.

Revitalization of Tyler's downtown area, just one example of donors stepping in.

"The downtown really has come alive and so I'm really proud of that. Taking Liberty Hall and making it more or less go back to its glory to rebuild it," Bass said. 

There's also the new parking garage to add more spaces and modernizing the city's library. Mayor Bass says she wanted to expand jobs in Tyler's medical fields and managed to do so in a down market.

"I hope they look back and see that the way Tyler developed in such a positive way was because of my leadership and those helping me," Bass said.

Her advice for the next in line? Infrastructure and development.

"Continue to focus on the jobs, we have to make sure we're offering the quality of life to keep good workers here," Bass said.

The city of Tyler limits a person to a maximum of three 2-year terms.

"I do think having new ideas, new blood coming in, new leadership coming in, is very positive for a community," Bass said.

She'll be swearing in a new mayor in May--then taking a long vacation.

We'll also be having an upcoming report on Longview Mayor Jay Dean about his time in office.

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