I hate to be Pollyanna-istic, but I love my job. Last October, I began covering the Dearing Town Council as part of my beat. It was exciting for me to watch as new council members and a new mayor took over the decision-making process of the town. I can tell you, because I've witnessed it, that the new group has worked hard to improve the community that they love. When I interviewed each of them as they took office last January, they shared dreams and plans for Dearing. I have listened to their discussions on executing these plans, and then watched as they carried out the work.
One of their endeavors came to fruition this week with the news that Dearing received $500,000 in grant money to renovate the old Dearing Elementary Gym. Mayor Sean Kelley worked hard, and put the rest of the council members to work, to meet all the requirements in the application process.
The council and mayor do all this work in addition to holding down full-time jobs. Talk about dedication. In those beginning interviews, I remember several members saying they wanted to see positive changes in Dearing, but at the same time, wanted to keep the small-town atmosphere. In other words, they wanted to put Dearing on the map without making too big of a spot. That's a big balancing act.
I encourage any and all Dearing residents to attend the town council meetings and see what's going on there. The meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of every month. When you come, I probably won't recognize you, but everyone else will. Please introduce yourself, so I can become a part of the hometown folk.
Another group worth mentioning is the local school board. I also had the pleasure of attending the annual board member retreat a couple of weeks ago, held at Savannah Lakes. This was a fun experience, as I got to view the board in action outside the formal conditions of the monthly board meetings. Take my word for it, the board members not only get along well, but seem to really like each other. The retreat was like a family reunion, with much bantering and laughter. Which means another balancing act took place, because the group accomplished a lot of business for the betterment of the education of the children in McDuffie County. I saw that the members not only takes their jobs seriously because of the accountability of the No Child Left Behind Act, but they realize that good students make good citizens. And this means the future of McDuffie County is pretty bright.