July 25, 2013 10:10:36 AM
Stay involved, stay informed
An open letter to the residents of Starkville:
I am taking advantage of this public forum to express my sincerest gratitude for the incredible, unsolicited outpouring of support I have been privileged to receive over the past three weeks.
I have had letters, cards, phone calls, visits and contacts through social media that have all immeasurably made the difficulty of the experience worth it. ...
My eight years serving the city of Starkville as the chief administrative officer were a remarkable highlight to my return to my hometown.
There is no greater honor or intrinsic reward than to serve one's country and one's community.
I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to do both in vastly differently but equally satisfying roles. Local government is where the best work is done because it touches your friends, family and neighbors every day. The satisfaction of daily service to your community is inestimable and a personal reward that far exceeds the measure of the monetary compensation. Never a day passed that I was not eager to go to work to see what the day might bring and how we could make things better.
We, as residents of Starkville, are most fortunate that we have some of the best of our community working on our behalf every day. Indisputably the best part of working for the City of Starkville is the opportunity to work with its personnel. I will miss them most of all. The staff of the city deserve our respect for their work and our commitment to their fair compensation in our budget every year.
They also deserve our thanks. Please take the time to tell them so when you encounter them on the job or out in the community. They are the unsung heroes who make our community the very best that it can be. Even a simple greeting to a city vehicle as it passes says much about appreciation for them and their work. ...
I look forward to sharing continued involvement in our community with you. It is incumbent on us all to stay engaged in a thoughtful way. There are always opportunities for participation as positions on boards and commissions need fresh and interested people to make a difference. Our City's website is robust and allows for two-way communications about anything that is of importance. It allows you to easily access the laws that the Board passes and the scheduled meetings at which they consider the city's business.
I urge everyone to commit a small amount of time two weeks out of a month to knowing what is on the agenda and how they will be setting Starkville's course for the future because it will be your course as well.
Thomas Jefferson said that democracy requires an educated and informed electorate and it is our duty to be just that. Our City depends on us to make wise decisions and we have to be knowledgeable to achieve that end.
Thank you for helping to make Starkville the best that it can be. I cherish the opportunity that I have had to make a difference as an employee. Thank you to all of you who allowed me to be of service in that capacity. Please support our community leaders and give them the benefit of your concerns and thoughts as they work on our behalf.