Chester County hasn't heard the last from Lucas

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By Travis Jenkins

After Monday night, Archie Lucas will no longer be in attendance at Chester County Council meetings…not on the dais anyway.

After 30 years and eight months representing District Two, Lucas’ time as an elected official is coming to an end. Lucas lost a bid for reelection, so when the council convenes its next meeting in early January, his seat will be occupied by Mike Vaughn. His last meeting was full of appreciation and love from his fellow members of council and some special guests.

John King is now a S.C. State House Representative from York County, but previously served with Lucas. He presented Lucas with a United States flag that previously flew over the South Carolina State House.

“I would not miss this occasion,” King said.

Randy Ligon, who was recently elected to represent District 43 (in the South Carolina House was also on hand. He thanked Lucas for his service and told him he hoped he enjoyed his retirement. Lucas said he wasn’t retiring, so Ligon wished him the best in tending his garden.

“That’s my wife’s job,” Lucas joked.

Councilman Alex Oliphant admitted that when Lucas beat Former Chester County Councilman Jim Bruce to return to council after a brief hiatus, he wasn’t sure how the two would get along.

“But I have never found anyone I could work with better,” said Oliphant, who said he has gotten to know and become friends with many members of Lucas’ family.

Councilman Brad Jordan said it had always been a pleasure working with Lucas, though he said he learned early on that email was not an efficient means of getting in contact with him.

“We haven’t always agreed on everything, but you’ve always been a gentleman,” Jordan said.

Councilwoman Mary Guy called Lucas “a good friend,” Councilman Pete Wilson said he enjoyed sitting beside Lucas for the past two years and Councilman Joe Branham said he’d be missed.

Lucas said the sun was setting on his political career but said he was grateful for having been given the opportunity to serve. Lucas, of course, has never been shy about sharing his opinions on issues. That goes for council meetings and in dealing with constituents. He recalled a woman approaching him once to question whether he would be supporting Covanta, a company that had plans to locate in Chester County at one time. The woman was against the company that converted trash to energy and was angry to hear that Lucas planned to vote in favor of it and reminded him he’d have to answer for the vote on Election Day. He told her not to threaten him with her vote. If she felt like that was reason enough to vote against him, that was her right and was alright with him. Lucas also reminded the council that he will remain outspoken if need be once he leaves office.