Lee public servants pause to give thanks

Nov. 28, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

As Lee County residents gather with friends and family to carve turkey, local leaders expressed their gratitude and thankfulness this Thanksgiving.

Serving as a public servant for the last decade, including eight years as the city of Sanford's mayor, Cornelia Olive said she was honored to serve the city's residents.

"In the order of my blessings, first I'd say my relationship with my God and father, my family and for my community," Olive said.

The New Life Praise Church held a Thanksgiving supper for nearly 200 people, something church member and Lee County Commissioner Chairman Charlie Parks said he was particularly thankful for this year.  It's a pleasure to work with people who care about helping others, he said.

"In an official capacity, I an thankful for a good [county commission] board of Christian people who are interested in the citizens," Parks said. "They are working hard to make life better for people."

In nearby Broadway, it's been another good year, something Mayor Donald Andrews said he's thankful for.

"I think the goals we set out for the year, we were able to accomplish," he said. "We were able to provide services to our citizens and maintain the cost as low as possible. We have a very good staff and employees."

Lee County Schools Superintendent Andy Bryan said it's the communal atmosphere of the school system that he is grateful for this year. 

"I am thankful for my own family, and thankful for my Lee County Schools family," he said.

Lee County Sheriff Tracy Carter said his family and health top the list this holiday season.

"I am thankful for Lee County," he said. "I think Lee County is the best county in the state, and I love the people here. I am thankful for God and America, and all the freedoms we have here."

The sheriff department employees are another reason to be thankful with regard to their work ethic and dedication to the community, Carter said.

"I have a good staff and group of people working for me, and I believe in what they are doing," he said.