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Council reflects on last four years

On Monday night the Greenville City Council bid farewell to two good friends and also took a look back at some of the major accomplishments of the 2000-2004 council.

Over the last four years major changes have taken place for Greenville and the surrounding area and Mayor Dexter McLendon felt it was important to take a look back.

&uot;I felt like tonight we needed to have a presentation and reflect back on the 2000-2004 term,&uot; said McLendon. &uot;I don’t think I have ever seen a group of people in my entire life that I am more proud of than the group I work with. It’s unbelievable what they’ve done.&uot;

Grants were one of the biggest successes of the council over the last few years. By gaining numerous grants the mayor and council were able to secure the new industry that has made its home in Greenville.

McLendon said years from now people would look back at this period as pivotal to where Greenville will continue to move.

&uot;We are going to look back at this time in the future and see it has been a very important time in the history of Greenville,&uot; said McLendon. &uot;I don’t think you’ll ever see a city our size do better on grants.&uot;

The numbers strongly supported McLendon’s statement. Over the past four years the city has received $10,591,700.56 in grants while paying only $952,514.57 in matching funds. The result of the grants will be around 1,000 new jobs and an additional $20 million in new annual payroll. McLendon said all of this would also translate into new annual tax revenue to better fund the city.

&uot;That is what we pay police officers and other hard working people with,&uot; said McLendon. &uot;That is great. People are starting to take notice of what is happening in Greenville.&uot;

McLendon also praised his department heads during the four-year period.

&uot;They are the ones that truly run the city,&uot; said McLendon. &uot;We make the policies, but they run the city. They have all been great.&uot;

Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram said the feeling had been mutual. Ingram said the last four years had been as enjoyable for the department heads as for the council.

&uot;It has been a pleasure to work with a council like this because we have seen times of contention,&uot; said Ingram. &uot;It really has been a pleasure to work with them. We hate to say goodbye to Mrs. Susan Murphy and Mr. Otto Duke, but at the same time we look forward to working with Mr. Tommy Ryan and Dr. Jean Thompson.&uot;

While the general tone of the meeting was a celebration of accomplishments it was also somber in that two well respected council members were leaving.

Councilwoman Susan Murphy said it had been a fun ride.

&uot;I just wanted to let all of you know what an honor and a privilege it has been to serve the people of Greenville and District 1,&uot; said Murphy. &uot;I also want to thank the mayor and city council for making this time so rewarding. There are so many good, hardworking people in Greenville trying to make Greenville a positive place to live and I am so glad to be a part of it.&uot;

Then, Murphy made it quite clear her displeasure with one Greenville resident since she came on the council.

&uot;Serving on the city council has been a very rewarding job except for one person, Gerald Johnson,&uot; she said.

&uot;He has written so many lies about me and I hope that the people who have so blindly followed him will someday see the truth. Still this has not discouraged me. I will stay determined and I still plan to serve the people of Greenville.&uot;

Outgoing councilman Otto Duke also said his time on the council had been rewarding.

&uot;I have really enjoyed my years on the council,&uot; said Duke. &uot;Four years ago I made a pledge with the mayor that we would get some industries in here. We stuck with it and that’s what we did. I want to thank all the city employees. I have enjoyed working with you and I would like to see Greenville keep going up the ladder.&uot;

During the business portion of the council meeting the following resolutions were approved:

n Approval of Resolution 2004-67 to authorize the mayor to file application with the Emergency Management Agencies for public assistance.

n Approval of Resolution 2004-68 to award bids for the Police department Fleet Repair.

n Approval of Resolution 2004-69 to authorize continuation of the city’s financial operations under the 2003-2004 general fund budget pending adoption of the 2004-05 budget.

n Approval of Resolution 2004-70 to approve a change order No. 2 for the Airport Apron Overlay Project.

The following expenditures were also approved:

n Payment of $4,960 to BFI for Hurricane Ivan Emergency Expenditures.

n Payment of $8,800 to Southern Generators for four generators at $2,200 apiece.

n Payment of $1,700 to L.V. Stabler Hospital for annual fire department physicals.

The council will next meet on Monday Oct. 4 at 5:30 p.m. for the swearing in ceremonies of the mayor and council. The next regular council meeting will take place on Monday Oct. 11 at 5:30 p.m.