It’s a new year, and with it comes new city leaders in both Richmond Hill and Pembroke.
With that in mind, we’d like to welcome to their respective positions new council members Jan Bass and John Fesperman in Richmond Hill, where they’ll join Mayor Harold Fowler and council members Van Hunter and Russ Carpenter.
Pembroke also welcomes new faces, as new Mayor Mary Warnell and new council members Kim McGhee and Ernest Hamilton join re-elected council members Tiffany Walraven, Johnnie Miller and Diane Moore.
These folks have stepped up to do what many are not willing, or simply are not interested in, doing. Though their politics and choices may differ from your own, they surely must have the community’s best interest at heart. Why else would they sacrifice the time and energy it takes to run a city?
Serving on a city council is more than just showing up for a meeting once or twice a month. It requires time and dedication to review and learn about requests brought before the board. It requires a great deal of responsibility to handle city finances and a budget that is funded on the taxpayer’s dime. It requires availability to get to know constituents and understand what the community wants. And it often requires courage and fortitude to make tough decisions that may not be popular but may be right for the city in the long run. These are traits most people possess but few are able to balance in such a way that makes them willing to help lead their community.
If you think you’ve got what it takes, feel free to step up and run for office. In the meantime, let’s get behind these folks as they take the reins and lead us into the future of Bryan County. But keep in mind, that doesn’t mean we should all sit idly by. You can show your support of your community simply by paying attention to what community leaders are doing — whether you attend the meetings or read what happened in the local newspaper, take an active interest in what’s going on.
Good luck to all our elected and appointed officials in 2012. Your success is vital to all of ours.