Lacy Hardee

I love my hometown of Loris. Just ask my enduring wife who is my sounding board before I react instead of acting accordingly.

A sweeping change is now complete in the national political arena. Changes will come, but none more important than the changes made in every small town in America. History has been made. It is made everyday. Question is, what role do we, as citizens play in those needed changes? Positive or negative?

The year 2016 began with sweeping changes in our city government as our city elected its first new mayor, Henry Nichols, in over two decades.

The retirement of the city’s longest running city clerk, Ms. Martha Dorman, left big shoes to fill.

The filling of another dedicated public servant’s role, former city attorney Don Padgett, was another hurdle for the new administration.

It’s a new administration that not only includes a first-time mayor but also two freshmen city council members and until recently, a very effective sophomore councilman who was serving our city well.

I knew the transition would be difficult, as any change in decades of status quo is going to be.

I feel it was unintentional but nevertheless, still very difficult. To add to the degree of difficulty, the city was and still is void of two key positions - a city administrator and public works director.

That’s a total of seven vital city positions that were either voted in or had to be hired, if even on an interim basis, for the city to function in a perfect world. But we know there is no such thing.

Little could anyone foresee the future or the health issues that beset our new mayor who had made moves to fill these spots as soon as possible with the legalities afforded to him. Add to the angst of staffing, the city was coming off an historic 18-month budget and the first fiscal year budget had to be hammered out. Department heads, personnel, committee chairmen and committees had to be formed ASAP.

Now to my main point. Broad change cannot be made without some people being placed in a position that is not a good fit for them, especially private citizens and others with their own personal agendas. There is no room for such in the word ‘team.’

I challenge anyone to step into the shoes of our mayor, our interim city administrator/public works director/ parks and recreation director Damon Kempski, or department heads and perform much better, with all the negativity that has been heaped upon them.

No one should accuse anyone of any wrongdoing, either by past administration or current in open council or social or print media.

Sure, it is their right to free speech supported by our constitution, but we all have to live together, work together and hopefully play together well.

Positive change requires positive people with positive input to create a positive, progressive city that Loris deserves to be.

Sure, more changes need to be made and hopefully it will be sooner than later. Weeding out the tares from the wheat is a daunting task and a necessary evil that requires diplomacy and trust.

I pray for change, but positive change that will truly make my hometown a “City without Limits.”

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