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December 12--  Two longtime Vidalia leaders, Second Ward Councilman Eddy Tyson and Recreation Department Director Tommy Sasser, are retiring this month and attended their last regular meetings of the city council Monday night.

Later both were guests on the "Vidalia Today" radio program and Councilman Tyson, who has been in office for 20 years, says he's happy to see how local governments are cooperating.

edddytyson"The greatest thing I think that has happened to us is that we have strong governments now.  We have professional managers at the county level and in the cities.  Vidalia has had that for years and now the other two have managers.  They all meet, talk and share and keep in tune with each other and the three governments are working closer than I've ever seen them work.  That's going to be a big factor in the years to come," Tyson said.

The veteran councilman is optimistic and believes a local chamber program is paying dividends,"Leadership Toombs-Montgomery, with all the young people and the training they're getting is going to be a big plus.  That seed is just beginning to sprout and we need that.  It was hard for a while to get qualified people to run for office who wanted to see their community grow and do the right thing."

Tommy Sasser is retiring after 24 years and believes the example set by the original city rec director, Coach Ed Smith, has served him well and will do the same for his successor, Homer Waller.

"Coach Smith built a tradition of winning here and improving facilities.  We tried to pick that up back in the 90's and continue that.  I told Homer to continue.  Be himself, but go ahead and set goals for five, ten and fifteen years.  It's amazing when you set goals and get a group of people working with you how those goals come about.  That is what's happened to us in the last 24 years," he said.