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Raywick's mayor retires after three terms

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By Stephen Lega, Landmark News Service

Marilyn Mullins' career in politics started with a request from Alvin Morris in 2002. He wanted her to run for mayor of Raywick.

"It was getting time for someone to run and I guess nobody had stepped up," she said, adding, "I told him, 'Well, I don't know what I'm doing, but I'll give it everything I got."

Twelve years and three terms later, Mullins, 73, is retiring as a city official.

While she had previously served as an officer in other organizations, none of them were like being the mayor of her town.

"It's been exciting and I've learned a whole lot about how small town politics work," Mullins said.

She grew up in Weir, an unincorporated community in western Kentucky. She lived in Jefferson County for a time, but she settled in Raywick after she met her first husband.

He died shortly after they moved into their new house, but Mullins stayed in Raywick — and in the house — both of which she considers home.

"It's just a nice little community ... If anybody stopped and asked for help, anyone would help you," Mullins said. "It's just that kind of community."

For several years, Mullins owned a catering business and her own bakery, adding that she's known as the "cake lady" around town.

During her time as mayor, Mullins said the annual Homecoming in July (which was held for the 34th time in 2014) has been one of the city's biggest activities.

"It's a lot of work, but it's a pleasure when, at the end of the night, you know everything has gone like it's supposed to," Mullins said.

She added that several former Raywick residents return for the event each year and that it's a lot of fun, in addition to being an important fundraiser in the community.

She also gave a lot of credit to Magistrate Roger "Cotton" Smothers, who is also leaving office this year, for helping Raywick. Mullins said Smothers has regularly attended city commission meetings, helped provide funding to purchase tents, tables and chairs for the homecoming celebration, and volunteered during multiple community events over the years. She also said Smothers assisted with funding for the quarter-mile walking track at the city park.

Over the last 12 years, Mullins said she has enjoyed working with the city commissioners, and she appreciated getting to meet many nice people, including those in the governor's office and the Lincoln Trail Area Development District.

At the same time, she doesn't think her city has faced any huge issues during her tenure.

"It's just the everyday and keeping the park going," Mullins said.

Kelly Lucas will be replacing Mullins as mayor. Lucas has served on the city commission, and Mullins is confident that Lucas will do well.

"I told Kelly — we all told Kelly that we would help her. I just can't do what I've been doing," Mullins said.

While she is retiring, that doesn't necessarily mean Mullins will be slowing down. She said she plans to travel, including a possible bus trip to Alaska in 2015.

She acknowledged that her decision to step down is primarily due to her health. She said she has arthritis in her hands and feet, and some days it can be pretty bad.

"It's kind of sad. I hate to leave it, but I know that it's time," Mullins said. "It's just like when I had to give up my catering and my baking. I knew it was time, that I had to let it go."