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With the new year just a few hours away, it's an appropriate time to tip our hats to the men and women working their final day in elected office. They deserve our thanks for jobs well done and while they'll be leaving the public limelight, their years of dedication will benefit us all for years to come.
Let's begin with Perry County's two outgoing mayors. Melvin McBrayer in Cannelton and Tell City's Gayle Strassell leave office after four years of hard work and commitment to not only their communities, but Perry County as a whole. Voters decided not to give them a second term but Election Day defeats can't diminish their accomplishments.
McBrayer guided Cannelton on a steady track during what was his second tenure as mayor and always acted in the best interest of the residents as he tried to improve services to citizens and brighten the city's future. McBrayer also played a strong supporting role on the board of the Perry County Solid Waste Management District.
Strassell was Tell City's first female mayor and boldly charted a course of involving citizens in local government. She also delegated authority to city department heads. Her work on behalf of the city's downtown will permanently change four blocks of Main Street and her leadership in annexation, while halted by a reluctant city council, are far from dead. We agree with her that Tell City must grow. Now it's up to the new lineup of leaders to decide how best that growth should take place.
Strassell also supported efforts that brought in nearly $1 million in housing-rehabilitation grants to improve homes for low and moderate-income residents and a new sidewalks-to-schools grant that will fund a walkway to William Tell Elementary School.
The community should also extend its gratitude to outgoing members of city councils in Tell City and Cannelton, those who either opted not to seek re-election or who were not returned to office by voters.
Thanks to Rick Greulich, who served four terms on the city council and who was an active supporter of the city's parks and recreation programs and worked alongside Strassell and Mayor Bill Goffinet. Jim Adams leaves office after four years as Tell City's at-large councilman. In Cannelton, Clerk-Treasurer Mary Snyder is leaving office, as are City Council members Dale Duke, Karen Herzog, Steve Bennett and Bruce Myers. They, too, were dedicated in their duties and deserve our thanks.
As we begin 2008, all of us should remember those working in public office, who put their names and reputations on the line to help build our communities. We thank those concluding their terms of public service, those continuing in elected office and the men and women just beginning their own journeys.
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