Lunsford’s legacy will be far-reaching

Published 11:00 pm Friday, June 1, 2012

It’s not easy letting go – whether you’re talking cars or friends or jobs.

But that’s just what Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford is doing.

The mayor announced Friday morning that, after more than 30 years in public service, he won’t seek another term in office.

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His decision, reached with a heavy heart, prompted tears from the mayor and the audience gathered in Troy City Hall for his announcement.

Lunsford has been a cornerstone of Troy’s development and growth since the early 1980s. His vision and commitment to economic development have helped position our community for growth in the 21st Century. A savvy leader, well-connected in the state and region and with the ability to craft together pieces of a project to yield a result that is greater than the sum of its parts, Lunsford has been an effective mayor.

His legacy is far-reaching, from his work in managing the utilities department and efforts to keep Troy’s utility rates among the lowest in the region to his recruitment of businesses that range from Lockheed Martin to CGI and beyond. His efforts to expand infrastructure – from the Troy Muncipal Airport to less glamorous but vitally important power systems and sewage and water lines – are vital to the quality of life here in Troy and to our growth in the future.

He’s managed the city and its employees well, building partnerships and growth opportunities along the way.

We know his decision to retire after all these years was not easily reached. But it’s what he believes is best for his future and his family. We expect that, as he hinted, he’ll remain involved in economic and community development after retirement, as well he should. Mayor Lunsford’s commitment to public service and his passion for Troy are true gifts, and we’ve been blessed to benefit from them for more than 30 years.