AIKEN — Beverly Clyburn refused to leave Aiken City Council until she knew that someone was there to fill the vacant seat.
In fact, Clyburn was only going to stay on the council for one term after she was first elected for District 1 in 1988, but 23 years later, she finally finds herself retiring.
“Time just flies. You get involved, and it flies. There was never a time I wasn’t like, ‘If you want to run, you need to let me know,’ ” she said, laughing. “I was not willing to not run until I was sure I could find somebody who was committed to at least give it a try.”
That person was Gail Bush Diggs, the director of outreach and community of Margaret J. Weston Community Health Centers, who was sworn in at a recent city council meeting.
Diggs ran as a Democrat against Republican candidate Sunny O’Donovan, who dropped out of the race because of an injury she suffered while campaigning.
Clyburn’s last meeting was Nov. 14, and she said she feels as though she’s ending her time on the council during a stable and positive time for the city.
“I can’t tell you that I’m happy to be leaving, but I can tell you that I think one person does not make the city,” Clyburn said. “It’s how one person works with six others to determine how things are done. If you have a concern, you take it, and they’ll discuss it and work on it.”
Clyburn’s decision to leave, which was carefully thought out, was from wanting more time with her children, grandchildren and husband of 47 years, state Rep. Bill Clyburn, D-Aiken.