On this delightfully happy Turkey Day, in my role as Lebanon City Manager, I have many to whom I must give thanks for pulling together and moving forward in challenging and uncertain times. My thank you list is thankfully a long one.
I always rise early to prepare the Lewis Clan version of Dad’s traditional annual family turkey dinner.
My traditional Thanksgiving preparation takes place in the company of the Lewis Pack and the Lewis Pride of One, who have displaced our three Lewis Clan progeny by virtue of our empty nesting.
However, I am thankful that, to my great pleasure and joy, my oldest son Ben is in the back bedroom this morning sleeping off jet lag from his arrival late last night from NYC on the Dartmouth Coach.
I am looking forward soon this morning to the warmth of enjoying oohing and aahing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’s floats and balloons. I am thankful to hear online that the balloons will be in the parade today despite the concerns previously raised that weather and wind would prevent their inclusion. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
But, before I take up the turkey and ham, I want to take some quality time to give thanks to those important to me. I give the most sincere and appreciative thanks to:
- The better two thirds of the City Manager’s Office Team of Greg and the Paulas - the marvelous Manager Maville, who is redesigning Lebanon’s communications and righting the ship for assisting those who are unable to meet their essential basic needs, and the Queen of Scheduling, Newsletter Maven, and People Lover Roux
- Lebanon’s department head team members who are leading us through continuous improvement toward achieving a sustainable community by producing excellent planning, economic vitality, sufficiency and resiliency, financial stewardship, and public safety excellence
- Lebanon's hard charging first responders from the Police, Fire, and Public Works Departments who run toward the disaster or emergency event, whether natural or man-made, responding and pulling together to help Lebanon recover from any blow we may be dealt in these times of climate change, extreme weather, and safety and security threats
- Lebanon’s four unions who all are sitting down with me this year in their respective negotiation and bargaining sessions and working through how we can create a Lebanon workplace equilibrium good for all concerned, both union and non-union
- Webmaster Cooper, who is artfully, creatively, and continuously transforming Lebanon’s website into an incredible communication platform
- IT leader Kahan whose mastery moves us to keep things simple and play nicely in the ever rapidly changing digital environment of information technology
- Lebanon’s liaison and consultant summa cum laude Hadfield who unceasingly bird dogs, grant writes, advocates, counsels, guides, and takes the point for Lebanon to navigate to better futures for the benefit of our community
- Lebanon’s first annual 2013 Citizen Academy participants who took the plunge, committed their time and considerable energy and intellect, and joined the Academy to engage in Lebanon civics and become involved
- Lebanon’s nonprofit partners and nonprofit community who allowed me and Lebanon to better listen, understand, respect, and value those they serve and their diverse needs and to continue to be their collaborative partners to further our collective efforts
- Lebanon’s Chamber and business community who opened their doors to me and Lebanon and joined together with Lebanon to better understand how Lebanon can sustain economic vitality through improving the quality and quantity of our collaborative communications and by working better together
American Legion who are so dedicated to serving Lebanon veterans and their
families and Lebanon’s and America’s veterans, Wounded Warriors, and Fallen
Heroes and their families for whom we all must pull together, whether they are
in front of us, to the side of us on the left or the right, or behind us – they
have served and protected us giving of themselves with many having given the
ultimate sacrifice including the incredible US Army Nurse Captain Jennifer
Moreno, June 25, 1988 - October 6, 2013, who volunteered to be assigned
to the 75th Ranger Regiment 75th Ranger Regiment, where her life was taken in combat in Afghanistan – Gary Owen!
- Lebanon’s Police Chief Gary Smith, who brought a grin to my face, stepped away from taking an all too well deserved retirement, and extended his commitment to serve and protect Lebanon and lead his beloved Lebanon Police Department – Gary Owen!
I close by giving thanks to Lebanon’s dedicated City Council for the opportunity to live in Lebanon, the hub city full of vibrancy and diversity, and by giving thanks for the difficult and complex challenges that lie ahead which will cause Lebanon citizens and stakeholders to engage in healthy, robust conversations resulting in all of us pulling together more to align Lebanon into a new paradigm for a sustainable community.