CRESTVIEW — People gathered March 28 to say farewell to Mayor David Cadle as he steps down after 12 years in office.

Cadle became mayor of Crestview in April 2007 after spending 29 years as director of Crestview High School’s Big Red Machine marching band.

A slideshow of moments from Cadle’s tenure played throughout the evening. The night was filled with thanks and kind words from people who had worked with or had been helped during his tenure as mayor.

Cadle was presented with many gifts from different city departments. The included a plaque from the Crestview Police Department and a key to the city from the City Council.

Crestview Fire Chief Tony Holland and Police Chief Jamie Grant each thanked the mayor for all he had done for their departments.

“I appreciate the mayor’s confidence in me and the Police Department,” Grant said. “He’s been very supportive.”

“When he became mayor, I thought it was great,” Holland said. “It was an honor and a privilege to work with you.”

City Councilmen Joe Blocker and J.B. Whitten, who is taking over the mayor's post, complimented Cadle's leadership as mayor.

“His life and his leadership has touched the lives of many,” Blocker said. “I want to commend him for the decisions he has made.”

“I have some big shoes to fill,” Whitten said. “I’ve been very fortunate to serve with him the last four years.”

Okaloosa County Commissioner Graham Fountain, a longtime friend of Cadle’s, spoke of his character.

“I was very pleased when David decided to get in politics,” Fountain said. “I want to thank you for being the man that you’ve been.”

Residents also expressed their appreciation. They included Sara Reese, who is known as “Ms. Sara” to the community.

“I’ve always loved you and I enjoy being with you,” Reese said. “To me, you’re the best mayor we’ve ever had.”

Cadle was the last to speak. He thanked Crestview for all the support over the years.

“The city welcomed us with open arms,” he said. “I have so much to be thankful for. There’s a lot of memories over the years.”

“I thank you. I thank the city of Crestview,” Cadle added. “I appreciate everything that’s been done.”

Cadle ended with one last mayoral proclamation: “Crestview and the citizens of Crestview are the best people I’ve ever known. You are dismissed.”