SANFORD CITY COUNCIL: Three community leaders honored

Apr. 16, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

Sanford City Council recognized three community leaders for their work and dedication to Lee County Tuesday night.

Council members honored former Sanford City Councilman Walter McNeil and former Lee County Commissioner Ed Paschal, who died on March 30 and April 2, respectively, and Sanford-Lee County Planning Director Bob Bridwell, who is retiring at the end of April, during their meeting.

"It goes without saying that these people touched all of us, including myself," said Sanford Mayor Chet Mann. "We can never say thank you enough to the McNeil and Paschal families."

A video of testimonies and photos of McNeil's life was played before his wife and son were called to the front of city hall to receive the resolution from council.

"McNeil was a supporter of good government, encouraging the provision of city services to all, including the erection of neighborhood parks, development of new fire station locations, improvements to the Sanford Golf Course, support the community development initiatives and ensuring fiscal responsibility to its citizen, always remembering that access to the city services were essential for all citizens," according to the resolution.

Lee County, as a whole, lost a "dedicated and passionate public servant and civic leader" when Paschal died, according to the second resolution.

"Lee County and its citizens have benefited from Nathan "Ed" Paschal's knowledge, leadership and concern for his fellow citizens and his contributions and dedication to public service," according to the resolution, which was presented to members of Paschal's family.

Bridwell and his wife also accepted his resolution from the council, and he thanked them for their kind words.

"Bridwell is known as an unfailing leader, mentor, community advocate and dedicated public servant who carries out his duties of his position in a conscientious and outstanding manner with a focus on excellent service to Sanford and Lee County and pride in doing things right the first time," according to the resolution.

In other matters, Council:

* Proclaimed May 1-10 as "Paint the Town Purple" days, and recognized the importance of the American Cancer Society and the Relay for Life of Lee County. The local Relay for Life organizers will place purple bows throughout city during the "Paint the Town Purple" days to raise awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society.

* Watched a video about the city's Arbor Day celebration, held last week, and was presented with a Tree City USA plaque.