I am thankful for family and friends, good health, a good job, a place to live, and food on the table. I am mostly thankful because I know I deserve none of these things.
But I am also thankful for a group of people who sacrifice to make our lives better. It is our elected county officials. I will mention them by name because I have had the privilege of knowing them personally.
I am thankful for Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens for his vast knowledge and experience he brings to us.
I am thankful for Commissioner Jason Nelms for the integrity and professionalism he brings to the office.
I am thankful for Commissioner Karen Bosch for her fearless candor in every situation.
I am thankful for Commissioner Jim Hubbard for the joy he brings to each meeting even when there isn’t a lot to be happy about.
I am thankful for Commissioner Harry Johnston for the intelligence he brings to the table on most every subject.
I am thankful for Sheriff Roger Garrison for keeping us safe for the last 20 years while making our Sheriff’s Office a leader in the Southeastern United States.
I am thankful for Clerk of Superior Court Patty Baker for bringing her agency into the 21st century while building professional relationships that make her office one of the best in the state.
I am thankful for District Attorney Garry Moss for the many years he has given to making sure the people that need be locked up can’t hurt us anymore.
I am thankful for Chief Magistrate Judge James Drane for the role he has played in building the bond between his office and law enforcement.
I am thankful for Probate Judge Keith Wood for the care and compassion he has for those he deals with many times during difficult times.
I am thankful for Tax Commissioner Sonya Little for making her visits to her office pleasant due to her dedicated staff.
I am thankful for Coroner Earl Darby for handling the duties of his profession with compassion and grace.
I am thankful for State Court Solicitor Jessica Moss for making the most from her appointment by making the office her own.
I am thankful for Surveyor Ron Wikle for years of the service to the county that many times go unnoticed.
I am thankful for Superior Court Judge Frank Mills for his many years of service and his work with the youth of our community.
I am thankful for Superior Court Judge Jackson Harris for his lifelong dedication to the community in which he serves.
I am thankful for Superior Court Judge Ellen McElyea for being strong yet one of the most compassionate people I have the privilege to know.
I am thankful for State Court Judge Clyde Gober for his lifetime of dedication to Cherokee County.
I am thankful for State Court Judge Alan Jordan for bringing humor to this world while spending every day dealing with bad situations.
I am thankful for State Court Judge Dee Morris for his appreciation for law enforcement officers throughout the county.
I am thankful for Juvenile Court Judge Tony Baker for actually caring about the kids he deals with on a regular basis.
I am thankful for Juvenile Court Judge John Sumner for his dedication to the youth in our community.
I am also thankful for the newly elected Superior Court Judge David Cannon Jr., District Attorney Shannon Wallace, and Commissioner Brian Poole. I wish you all the best.
You may not always agree with their politics and that is just fine. I don’t always agree with their politics.
But that is what makes America the greatest country on the planet. We have a right to believe as we choose and cast our ballot for whomever we please.
But Thanksgiving isn’t about politics. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
It is about giving thanks.
Each of those people listed above at some time or another has been talked about negatively, verbally attacked, and even shunned. But they have remained in the fight in hopes of bringing a better Cherokee County for our children.
So to all of our elected officials, thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.
Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.