We were pleased to learn that Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams was the recipient of this year’s James Stevens Award.
Though the award is named for a longtime elected leader and though the Mayor sits on the panel that chooses the award, it isn’t generally given to elected leaders, who are largely in the public eye and more empowered than rank and file residents to effect change.
Though Williams was on this year’s selection committee as he has been in the past, other committee members kept his nomination quiet and, while Williams thought the committee was heading in one direction, he learned later the other committee members had a different idea in mind.
Regardless of how it happened, Williams is a deserving recipient. He has taken on all the roles of mayor with gusto. He has shown up at all manner of civic events, whether its a turkey giveaway or a senior center birthday, to serve his symbolic role. He has been at the negotiating table when the school system and the town couldn’t agree on requirements for building a new school in Garner and needed the help of the N.C. Department of Transportation. And he has been the first in line to tout Garner’s strengths when the occasion called for it.
Ronnie Williams earned this recognition and we’re glad the committee saw fit to keep him in the dark long enough to make it happen.