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Thumbs Up! - Dec. 5, 2011

There is a runoff election Tuesday to decide which candidate will sit in the mayor’s office for the next four years. Also at stake is the Ward VI seat on the city commission. For the most part, the candidates have shied away from slinging dirt at one another and are all eager to serve the community. Not one of the candidates has promised anything but to give their all to the citizens of Albany. Now the ball is squarely in the courts of the voters. In elections of this size was born the fact that every vote does indeed count... let yours be one of them. To the candidates, thank you for caring enough to run for public office.

Speaking of public office ... a story ran in the paper last week about Bobby Wilson from Leesburg. Re-elected in November for another term on the Leesburg City Council, this public servant will start his 38th consecutive year in office in January. During his tenure, Wilson has seen many changes in both Lee County and the world outside of his territory. When first elected in 1974, Lee County had a population of just over 7,000 people. By 2010 that number was closer to 30,000. Wilson had this to say about his years in office. “I think as long as you don’t sacrifice your principles and your integrity, you won’t betray the public’s trust.” Politicians, both novice and seasoned, could benefit from these words. Congratulations, Bobby Wilson, on yet another successful election.

Dougherty High student Devin Green, his mother Constance and teacher Majorie Slaughter were seen at the East Albany Walmart recently. The trio was not shopping for Christmas gifts but instead waved signs in hopes of roping in some parents volunteers for the Dougherty County School System. Constance Green, a parent volunteer herself, wants others to join her effort to improve the education of the county’s children. Whether spending time in the classroom, attending PTO meetings, staying connected by way of the Internet or attending parent-teacher conferences, Green believes strongly that a parent needs to be involved in the education of his or her children. A commitment to your child and the school system would make a great New Year’s resolution.

Santa has mail at 1301 N. Monroe Street and needs help. In a program called “Make a Wish Come True with a Letter to Santa” Gloria Bridges and Kristin Caso are holding the letters written by residents of The Bridge and Liberty House. The children are misplaced from their homes for a number of reasons, mostly abuse or neglect or both. They often arrive at the facility with nothing but the clothes they are wearing and many have never experienced a “Santa” kind of Christmas. Involve the family and start a tradition of making a real difference for someone less fortunate. Find out what is needed and how to help by calling (229) 430-5222.

Last Thursday, a few lucky staff members of The Albany Herald took time away from the newspaper business to join the company of Dougherty County’s brightest middle school students. As a sponsor of the Academic Bowl, we were once again absolutely amazed at how well the students performed. The questions covered everything from literature to math and more. Team members were required to follow a strict set of rules as were the spectators of the event. All seven middle schools were represented and the competition was tough, really tough. The display of knowledge (and manners) had to be seen to be believed. The students and coaches are without a doubt the cream of the crop and the Herald thanks you for allowing us to be a part of this event. Congratulations to Merry Acres for taking the title.