Officials thankful for city’s, county’s blessings

Published 12:12 am Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving is a time to proclaim to the world why we are thankful. For many, it’s being healthy and happy; for others, it’s a time to appreciate family and friends.

And local government officials agree that Covington County citizens have many blessings.

“The communities of Covington County are filled with people and organizations who genuinely care about one another and will do whatever it takes to help their neighbors, “ said House Speaker Seth Hammett. “Acts of kindness are everywhere. This is the kind of place you be want to be when facing difficult times.”

And even when times are trying for our neighbors, Covington County residents step up to the plate, Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson said.

“I am thankful for the relatively good year we have had with the economy,” Johnson said. “Compared to most of our neighbors, Andalusia enjoyed stability in our business community, with the city seeing an actual increase in sales tax revenue when most cities were experiencing double digit declines in sales tax revenue.

“I am thankful for the safety and security of our community,” he said. “Our neighbors to the east, Kinston and Samson, experienced the nightmare of a serial killer in their communities, resulting in the tragic loss of life of many of their family and friends. And, I am thankful for the outpouring of love and support our community showed for the victims of this horrific act of random violence.

“I am thankful that we can expect a better year in 2010 due to the hard work of so many of our citizens and the support of our local institutions,” he said. “I truly believe that Andalusia’s best is yet to come, and I am thankful that our citizens have allowed me to play a small part in this exciting process.

“Finally, I am thankful for the many blessings bestowed on us and the security provided to us by the sacrifices of our military personnel,” he said.

Opp Superintendent Michael Smithart said he is thankful for so many things. “Personally, for my family and the ways that God continually blesses us,” he said.

“Professionally, I am thankful that I have the opportunity and the responsibility to serve more than 1,300 students in the Opp City School system.”

Each of the county commissioners, including Chairman Lynn Sasser, expressed their thankfulness the county has made significant strides to correct its economic situation.

“I’m thankful we made it through this year without layoffs,” Sasser said. “Our financial condition is better, and that’s a lot to be thankful for.”