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City hosts organizational meeting for council, mayor

The City of Greenville held an organizational meeting on Monday night for Mayor Dexter McLendon and the city council.

There were no new faces. McLendon is beginning his third term and seated council members Ed Sims, Jean Thompson and Tommy Ryan successfully fought off challengers during the municipal election held in August. Council members Jeddo Bell and James Lewis were unopposed.

“I taught government in school, but that was the theory; it doesn’t prepare you for the reality of actually working in government,” said Lewis, who has represented District 4 for seven terms. The former school teacher has battled illness for the last few years, which kept him away from council meetings and in Miami, Fla. with family members.

He said he’s glad to be home.

“To work with this council is the joy of my life,” he said.

Ryan said he believed city government can “go the extra mile” for its citizens and make a difference.

“I have conservative values, but I’m proud we’ve been progressive in Greenville in a lot of different ways,” said Ryan. “I think you can see that with some of the industrial opportunities we’ve been given.”

Thompson thanked the city for its support of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, which has seen major growth at its Greenville campus over the last 15 years.

After 50 years in education, Thompson said she plans on retiring as an instructor at the school in March.

McLendon said he and council members still have a vision for Greenville’s future: Growth and prosperity.

“This is a special place,” he said. “We’ve got a steel plant going in down in Mobile and we’re going to let our friends in Germany know how special we are. We’re going to let the world know how special we are.”