Op-Ed from Gary Fuller


November 11, 2013


On February 19, 2008, the Opelika City Council voted to change their salary and the mayor’s salary when the new term of office began in November, 2008.  There was no change in compensation for the mayor and council before this term started in November, 2012.  The change back in 2008 was the first increase in 16 years.  At the time I pledged that I would continue working and serving the citizens of Opelika at the same rate of pay when I was hired which was $52,000 a year.  I also promised that I would contribute the net difference to charity or non-profit organizations and that I would publish the names of those receiving this money on an annual basis.  This is my report to you and the City Council.  The net difference, after taxes, is about $15,000 a year.

 

Here are the groups and organizations that Laura and I have given money to over the past year.  I’m not going to list the specific amounts but it is more than $15,000 and does not include the tithe we make to our church.  The range of gifts to these groups is from $5,000 to $50 and include Habitat for Humanity, KOB, Opelika Main Street, Heritage Foundation, New Birth Ministries, Opelika Sportsplex & Aquatics Center, United Way of Lee County, Leadership Alabama, Harvest Evangelism, Brooklyn Tabernacle, The Way 2 Serve, Women’s Hope, Orphanage Emmanuel, Opelika Historical Society, the University of Alabama, Alabama Veterans Memorial, EAMC Foundation, Food Bank of East Alabama and the American Cancer Society.  All of these great folks are worthy of our support and it was a joy for us to support them and others.

 

Our family is quick to admit that we have been blessed in many ways.  Laura, Ginny, Gary, Jr and I are very grateful.  We acknowledge that it all comes from God so it is not really “ours” to begin with.  We are His servants trying to do His will every day and we give God the thanks and the glory!   

 

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your mayor.  It is a honor and privilege to serve the wonderful people of Opelika.  Our best days are ahead of us.  Yes, we have made some progress over the past few years but we’ll be better a year from now and I can only imagine how great we’ll be 10 or 20 years down the road!  Together we have a bright and shining future!

 

This is the best place in America to live, work, worship, raise our families and educate our children.  Thanks be to God!