Terrell Jacobs, municipal operations consultant with the Georgia Municipal Association, presented Carolyn Lee with a GMA Lifetime Service Award at Lee’s retirement luncheon Thursday.
The City of Cairo hosted a retirement luncheon for veteran City Clerk Carolyn Lee Thursday. Lee stepped down Friday after a 46-year career with the city.
A surprise presentation was made at the luncheon, which was held at The Foundry in downtown Cairo. Mrs. Lee was presented a Lifetime Service Award from the Georgia Municipal Association.
Terrell Jacobs, former city manager of Douglas and a municipal operations consultant with GMA, made the awards presentation.
Jacobs remarked that the institutional knowledge that is lost with the departure of a veteran employee like Mrs. Lee cannot easily be replaced. He encouraged others to make careers of public service just as Mrs. Lee has done.
“Mrs. Lee has demonstrated her love for her community through her many years of generous service to its residents,” said GMA Executive Director Larry Hanson. “Cairo is fortunate to have that kind of dedicated leadership, and Georgia’s cities are also grateful to have seen the example she set for all city leaders.”
The Lifetime Service Award is only awarded to top city officials who complete 35 or more years of service.
Mrs. Lee said that her decision to retire has been “pretty surreal for about a month, but it had become real after reading (the Aug. 28 edition of) The Messenger.”
She credited her co-workers and the other city department heads she had worked with over the years and said she would miss them.
“I’m so appreciative of everything you’ve done for me,” Mrs. Lee said.
Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton, Municipal Court Judge Joshua C. Bell and former councilman Ernest W. Cloud Jr. all paid homage to the retiring clerk. Addleton also presented Mrs. Lee with a token of the city’s appreciation for her many years of service.
Joining the honoree at the luncheon, in addition to city officials and staff, were members of Mrs. Lee’s family including her husband, children and grandchildren as well as her twin sister and her middle brother.