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Thankfulness and hopefulness this holiday season

The best thing about this Thanksgiving is that it helps us to avoid thinking of all the doom and gloom that comes through the media and remember the good things we enjoy here and now. We are fortunate to be alive at this time and in this place with so many good people who work honestly to do their best for our community. It is time to thank these essential workers, and I wish I knew all their names.

The City of Elkins has many hardworking employees. They keep our water clean, collect our garbage, remove autumn leaves, make sewers sanitary, and re-surface streets. All this is done more efficiently because a recent mayor added an operations manager’s position to coordinate the various activities, and the City Council voted to add a sales tax in town. Elkins is running more effectively now than at any time that I can remember.

Elkins also has a Volunteer Fire Department that serves this community with proactive programs like “Hear the Beep” to remind us to replace batteries in fire alarms. I want to thank Fire Chief Tom Meader and Code Enforcement Officer Phil Isner who came to Kump Education Center a week ago to check the new fire alarms and emergency lights and make sure that citizens will be safe when they attend events at this city-owned property.

Elkins Parks and Recreation Department manages acres of land where citizens can play, picnic, and walk during the pandemic. These green spaces are close to our homes and work places, and we have trails that can take us into neighboring counties. The WV Division of Highways maintains the Allegheny Rail Trail where people can ride bikes and horses, walk with or without dogs, and run for miles.

Thanks to Bonnie Woodrum at the Randolph County Health Department for constant updates on the numbers of Covid-19 cases in our area. We can also go to the Health Department free of charge for various services that help us to stay healthy.

This fall I have been especially grateful to the many Election volunteers who serve all over the United States to ensure that our elections are free from unfair practices. This is the volunteer work that makes it possible for every vote to count and keeps our democracy strong.

Thanks to the US Postal Service every citizen could cast a vote in the fall election and stay COVID free. Also we thank the USPS for keeping our letters and packages moving.

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