A Brief History of the City of River Bluff
The late 1970s
In the late 1970s the residents of what is now known as the City of River Bluff realized that our roads were in deplorable condition and upon investigation on both the county and state levels it was learned that our roads were private and it was our responsibility to repair and maintain them. The previous winter had been an especially harsh one and the roads were in shambles as a result of the freezing weather.
In order to begin the process of repairing the roads, a Homeowner’s Association was formed to collect the necessary funds from the residents and possibly from the county and state. It was soon discovered that the roads had not been built according to county standards and much work was necessary. As a Homeowner’s Association, we had no legal standing and no support from the county or state.
For several years the members of the original association worked to get the roads back in shape, arranged for garbage pickup and worked with other ideas to improve life in our subdivision. It became clear that in order for River Bluff to gain legal standing and qualify for state revenue sharing and for residents to be able to claim expenses paid as personal, federal, and state tax income tax deductions, it was necessary to replace the Homeowner’s Association with another form of government.
In August of 1980 the Mayor-Commissioner form of government was adopted for the City of River Bluff. A Mayor-Commission form of government is made up of a Mayor and four members of the commission. Neale Parsons accepted the nomination and was unanimously elected first Mayor of the City of River Bluff along with the first Commission consisting of Jim McNeil, Phil McClanahan and Charles Barnes. The Mayor Commission Board, although elected officials, have always served as uncompensated volunteers. By October 15, 1980, all sections of River Bluff had been officially annexed into the City of River Bluff. The original Home-owner’s Association was officially disbanded on May 10, 1981.
A Gentlemen’s Agreement
By one description our City could be called a “Gentlemen’s Agreement.” It was formed in order to accomplish actions necessary for maintaining common property. Over the years the City Board has negotiated garbage pickup, installed lighting, signage, improved drainage, acquired cable television, installed gas lines, and made many other improvements. The original intent was never to govern by passing laws and restrictions, but rather maintain a quality standard of living by acting as good neighbors, respecting the property of others, and having pride in our community.