March 6, 2010 9:17:00 PM
In an interview on Page 1 today, outgoing Lowndes County Board of Supervisors President Harry Sanders offers a bit of advice for whomever is chosen to lead the body next: "You can''t please everybody. They''re going to have to realize the word ''no'' is a complete sentence."
To be sure, Sanders didn''t please everybody while leading the board the past six years. But we can safely say that Lowndes County is better positioned for growth and prosperity today than it was when he took the helm -- thanks, in large part, to his leadership.
Sanders wasn''t board president when the county received a $30 million windfall from the sale of the county hospital to the Baptist Memorial system. But he has been a wise steward of those funds, ensuring that the county only spend interest money, and leave the capital intact.
While conservative with county money, Sanders has overseen new projects where needed. Just in the past year, Sanders has pushed through the construction of a new health department on Lehmberg Road; the acquisition of land for the soccer park planned in Burns Bottom, and park improvements elsewhere; and the purchase and renovation of new county office space in the former First Federal Bank building on Main Street.
But his greatest legacy has been his work to transform the county industrial park. Sanders has been instrumental in financing and securing land for megasites in what''s now known as the Golden Triangle Regional Aerospace Industrial Park, and in negotiations to bring in Severstal and Paccar, which translates into hundreds of new jobs. Thanks in no small part to Sanders'' vision and leadership, the park is well positioned for growth as the economy improves in the future.
As we said, Sanders isn''t perfect. With Harry, it''s his way or the highway -- his legendary stubborn streak, at times, has been trying to those working with him, whether they be fellow supervisors or Columbus city officials.
Still, we believe Sanders always operated in what he thought were the best interests of Lowndes County -- and we owe him a debt of gratitude. His successor has big shoes to fill.
Margaret Evans commented at 3/6/2010 11:54:00 PM:
Glad he finally decided he is fighting a losing battle. Maybe his past is catching up with him. He has not been a leader in years. Especially since he could not control his and Leroy's conducts at each board meeting. Him and Leroy argued more than they solved or improved board items. He should not receive all the praise for past or future improvements. Him and Leroy were the laughing stock of Columbus. Even visitors to Columbus were amazed that the Board of Supervisor's meeting were televized with all the arguments broadcasted. HEY...maybe Leroy will be incharge now. What a fiasco that will be.....HA HA
D Winter commented at 3/7/2010 3:58:00 AM:
Right on Margaret....the board of supervisors meetings being broadcast are like a 3 ring circus....at least some of the new board members are asking questions and trying to do right by their constiuents. Just need Leroy to listen more and speak up less, or at least try to conduct the board meetings like civilized adults. I think they forget the meeting is being televized for ALL to SEE.
Slate commented at 3/7/2010 8:39:00 AM:
Correct, we are in a great position to continue the industrial expansion of the last five years. Reading the NE Mississippi Daily Journal Business blog today, I see Columbus tied for seventh as Top U.S. Micropolitan New & Expanded Facilities in 2009. So why hasn't the Dispatch reported this, guess it's not a negative so it isn't news.
jay commented at 3/7/2010 9:43:00 AM:
The important thing is to get back on track. I think Harry should stop and think what got us to this point. One thing could be He did not listen to some of the new Guys on the Board. When I first saw who the newly elected Supervisors were I could not help but think we were going to be in good hands. Had Harry and Leroy let them have more imput we would not have gotten to this stage of the game. I know John and Frank and I think they add a lot of fire power to the Board. Frank's idea of paving Officers lake road is a great solution to the traffic problems we have now and with the new school opening soon. I know he has paved a lot of roads in his district. John knows his district well and has done a good job of keeping pace with what is needed. We all need to help each one of our Supervisors and make Lowndes County the best it can be !
I commented at 3/8/2010 1:54:00 PM:
Yes because of Harry, the County had a minimum of 6 Federal Law Suits. Because of Harry, the County is paying some 120, 000 plus for three positions for salaries instead of 40,000 for all three positions. Thanks Harry! NOT!
Eastwood commented at 3/8/2010 2:31:00 PM:
Jay I differ with you John doesn't know his district to well or he is just to busy serving the ones who he thinks will return him to office. I said before and I say again he nor any other supervisor have not done a thang for eastwood hills, all I've heard them do
was make empty promises but again when election time come do not
come to the hill because I promise you we will not vote for you. So Jay Please for me tell this to John since you think highly of him.
mark commented at 3/13/2010 10:35:00 PM:
Harry and Leroy are dumb asses!
lee j commented at 3/14/2010 9:08:00 AM:
Jay thats a good idea paving officers lake road.
will commented at 3/14/2010 1:52:00 PM:
Officers Lake road will be looked at as a great idea when it is completed. You will be able to go from Hwy 50 to downtown or Hwy 82W without getting on Hwy 45. Sounds like Mr. Ferguson has done his homework. Thanks for having the guts to stand up and do what you think is right. We need more people to try and work out the problems and not just write in complaining about what is bad with the world.