Eddie Coleman has resigned as the Mayor of Forsyth.
Before the Forsyth Board of Aldermen could adjourn their meeting on Nov. 18, Coleman announced that, due to his health, he has chosen to move away from Forsyth to be closer to family and step down as the mayor.
In the first week of October, Coleman said, he suffered a stoke, which put him in the hospital. He said he has since been recovering from that incident.
“I used this button (holding up a Life Alert around his neck). I hadn’t had it that long, but I used this button, and thank goodness Nathan (Bowers, Forsyth fire chief) and his crew was at the apartment in less than five minutes,” said Coleman. “These people had me in the hospital in less than an hour. My health is in terrible shape.”
Coleman shared that since his stroke, his four nephews have been encouraging him to move closer to them.
“Everyone of them said, ‘Eddie, you got to get closer to us. We don’t want you in Forsyth no more. We want you right here beside us, so we can take care of you,’” Coleman said. “At the end of the month, I’ll be moving to Garrison Cutoff Road. I’m sorry. I’d like to be mayor the rest of my life, but my health will not take it. Right now, I’m thinking that if I make it this time next year, I’ll be the luckiest man alive.”
Coleman’s new residence will be just northeast of Taneyville on land owned by one of his nephews. Coleman said that during his time as mayor, there are two things that he’s been behind that he’s the proudest of: The half-dozen murals that were painted around the city, and the Patriots Day Parade.
“That wasn’t here when I got here. We started that,” said Coleman. “That’s been a really good one.”
Following Coleman’s announcement, Forsyth Ward I Alderman Jack Baker thanked Coleman for his seven years of service to Forsyth.
“You’ve guided us in the right direction and you have gone out probably 30 times and visited with businesses from other towns and got them to come here and take a look,” said Baker. “I appreciate the time you’ve put in and we’ll let you go if you want to. Thank you, Edd.”
Forsyth Ward II Alderman Cheryl Altis added that Coleman has been a great mayor to work with.
“As Jack said, you’ve done a lot for the city of Forsyth. You’ve got some very nice murals painted around town, which people will always remember that you were behind getting that done. That was a good step,” Altis said. “You’ve poured a lot of your heart and soul into what you do, and it’s very much appreciated.”
During his announcement, Coleman also said that one of the things he hopes the city of Forsyth will continue to work on is the parking situation in town.
“We’ve got a problem, and I’d like to see that problem solved from far off. I can’t see it up close, because I’m too close to it, and it just bothers me,” said Coleman. “I haven’t slept good is six/eight months because I finally figured out that parking was the biggest problem we’ve got, or the lack of parking … is what is keeping Forsyth from being a very prosperous city.”
Coleman graduated from Forsyth High School in 1951 and left the area when he joined the Navy. After 47 years away, he moved back to the Forsyth area in 1998 and, shortly thereafter, married Katy Clarkson. Over the years, Coleman lived in places like Conway, Arkansas and Houston, Texas. Before he retired, he worked for Moog Automotive for around 18 years selling air-conditioning pieces and parts as a factory representative. Coleman was elected as Forsyth’s mayor in 2013. He was reelected in the April 2019 election to a fourth term.
Forsyth City Clerk Cheyenne Beasley confirmed that the Forsyth Board of Aldermen would be appointing someone to fill the mayor’s position, until an election can been held, at their December board meeting.
“I’ll say this, too,” Coleman said. “That Ole Eddie, as long as he’s still around, I’ll help you do anything possible to help Forsyth. Do anything.”