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Thank you, Mayor

Many times when a person decides to run for public office, one of the reasons given is to pay back to the public what has been given to them. Public office is many times a thankless job. No matter how hard you work there is always going to be someone who did not agree with your decisions or the course of action that you decided to take. Perhaps if you finish with more friends than you began with, you could be considered successful. But if the constituents who elected you are in better condition than when your term began, your time in office could be considered successful.

Last week as Mayor Dwight Tankersley gave what will be his last State of the City Address. One could easily see that his two terms as mayor of Hartselle have been successful. Now this does not mean there were no problems or that he has been able to accomplish everything on his agenda, but if you are keeping score, the plus side seems to have more tally marks. One could almost think keeping a sales-tax-dependent city operating without cutting services during the recent economic downturn would mean your term was a success. But under the direction of Tankersley and the past two city councils, Hartselle has not only weathered storms but has also managed to improve our hometown for the future.

One of the first things accomplished during his first term was implementing city operated curbside garbage and yard refuse pickup. Added a short time later was city operated recycling. Not only has this aided residents, but it also added to the appeal of our city streets as you drive through town. Hartselle has also been able to add to our police and fire departments through new equipment and personnel to provide needed services and protection to citizens. Seeking to grow relationships with other service providers and local governing bodies has resulted in utilities being extended across Interstate 65, a new senior center, a new high school under construction and a multi-functional aquatic center that will be enjoyed by many for years to come.

Near the end of his speech, the emotional mayor thanked those he had worked with the past eight years and referred to them as his friends after announcing that he would not seek a third term as mayor. In referring to what has been accomplished, “we” was used many times. Thank you for the leadership you have provided the last eight years and may your future be bright. God Bless You.

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