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For 46 years of service: Retiring Mayor Nugent gets key to city at retirement party


Friends and family of Nederland Mayor R. A. “Dick” Nugent gathered at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Nederland to celebrate his retirement Friday.

City Manager Chris Duque and City Clerk Gay Ferguson presented Nugent with the key to the city and a plaque that will be hung in City Hall.

Nugent is not running for reelection this year, marking the city’s first change in the mayor position in 16 years. Nugent served the city in various capacities for 46 years as emergency management coordinator, councilmember and mayor.

Nederland Mayor R. A. “Dick” Nugent shares a laugh with Jason Burden during Nugent’s retirement party at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Friday. (Chris Moore/The News)

Duque gave a speech thanking Nugent for his service and the impact the mayor had on him.

“I know you took a big chance on a young, 30-something, out-of-town city manager,” Duque said. “I thank you for that opportunity, and I thank you for blessing it has brought upon my family. There have been some good times. There have been some bad times. There have been laughs. There has been screaming, but you’ve always made me feel welcome. It has been an honor working with you and I’m going to miss you.”

Nugent spent the evening sharing smiles and laughs with loves ones as they ate gumbo, étouffée and cake.

Nederland Mayor R. A. “Dick” Nugent’s plaque will hang at City Hall. (Chris Moore/The News)

“It’s going to be hard to walk away form all of this,” Nugent said. “You see all of the enthusiasm and everything they did. I loved the presentations. I appreciate every one of them. They will never be forgotten. I’m getting older by the day and I feel like I gained a couple of years tonight. I’m hanging in there and I appreciate everything the city of Nederland has done for me through the years.”

Nugent said he has no plans to turn his back on the city and that emergency management is still in his blood.

“They talk about hurricanes,” he said. “I can assure you anytime we get a storm, I’m going to be out there right in the middle of it. People can be ready. When that white Tahoe moves, I’ll be hauling butt in it.”

Nederland Mayor R. A. “Dick” Nugent embraces Ward 2 City Councilmember and former police chief Billy Neal at Nugent’s retirement party on Friday. (Chris Moore/The News)