Lewis honored for 20 years service

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Let it never be said that James Lewis hasn't made a difference.

An overflow crowd turned out for Monday's City Council meeting to honor Lewis' 20 years as a City Councilman.

The crowd ranged from former students, to former council members to friends and family of Lewis.

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The crowd was made up of many different types of people, but they all had one thing in common. James Lewis had touched their lives.

People stood in line for the opportunity to say just what Lewis had meant to them.

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon spoke on the hard work Lewis has done for the city.

"He doesn't make a lot of noise, but when he speaks everybody listens," said McLendon. "He is a very special person."

Lewis has worked very hard for the City of Greenville and Butler County. He has served on the Planning Commission, Water and Sewer Board and worked closely with the Parks and Recreation Department.

He has also worked closely with Dunbar Park to make sure the youth had a place to go. Lewis did all this while serving 35 years as an educator.

Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram said Lewis has been a fixture for the betterment of the community.

"He's been a consistent person on the council," said Ingram. "We have seen mayors and councilmen come and go but James has been a staple. James has also been someone we can turn to."

Jeddo Bell, who serves on the council with Lewis, said he has learned a lot from Lewis.

"Mr. Lewis is a fantastic person," said Bell. "My life has been made better simply because he has passed my way. I'll always remember Mr. Lewis for being the person he is."

One of Lewis former fellow council members and current state Representative Charles Newton felt the city was very lucky to have a man like Lewis on board.

"He has been a true asset to the City of Greenville," said Newton. "For a man to serve the citizens as well as he has is a credit to him and the city is very fortunate to have his service."

Lewis was true to form when asked to speak. He needed few words to express his feelings. In those few words, he was still able to make his feelings known.

"I would just like to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to serve you," said Lewis. "I have enjoyed all the years of service. I have seen a lot of improvements. A lot of things have happened in the last 20 years. I'm just proud to be a Greenvillian."

An old friend of Lewis' even came out to show her support. Ruby Mae Price Womack recalled walking Lewis to Sunday school and offered these words of inspiration.

"It is not so much the things you have done that should occupy your mind. It is better for you to look ahead than it is to look behind. Let others praise your accomplishments if they will. But as for you, don't think about what you have done, but what you're going to do. Keep looking upyou'll get there."

Lewis has made a huge impact on the city in his time of service.

The huge turnout was proof that people know they can count on him.