Former Windsor elected officials honored
Published 5:53 pm Sunday, December 3, 2023
Former Windsor elected officials Kelly Blankenship, Durwood B. Scott, Glyn T. Willis and Greg Willis were recognized for their service to the town during a dinner held by the Woman’s Club of Windsor at the Windsor Town Center on Nov. 15.
Joining the honorees at the dinner were their families, friends and current and former Windsor elected officials and staff.
Following the meal, Windsor Mayor George Stubbs took moments to highlight each honoree.
Blankenship passed away on Nov. 11, and the town released a statement Nov. 14 reacting to her passing.
“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Kelly Blankenship,” town officials said. “Kelly was dedicated to the town of Windsor and served the town as a member of the Town Council.”
She served on the council from 2019-22.
“Her commitment of time and energy made the town of Windsor a better place,” town officials said. “The town has lost an outstanding public servant and friend, and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.”
Stubbs noted at the dinner that he would be delivering to Blankenship’s family the Town Council resolution honoring her for her service.
DURWOOD B. SCOTT
Scott had already been presented with the resolution recognizing him, but Stubbs read through it to remind all those present of what he did for the town.
The resolution stated that Scott served Windsor “with honor and distinction as vice mayor and as a member of Town Council of the town of Windsor for a total of over 12 years and six months.”
During that time period, the document states, he selflessly gave of his time and energy to make the town a better community in which to live and to work, and he rendered his wisdom and leadership in the governing of town affairs.
The resolution closed by stating that Scott “is recognized, commended and thanked for his loyal and valuable service to the town of Windsor” in the positions to which he was elected.
Later in the dinner, Scott shared some remarks, noting that it had been an honor and a privilege to serve the town.
“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, my wife who encouraged me to run and encouraged me to continue to run each time,” he said. “And to family that’s here tonight, they’ve supported me, and you can’t do things by yourself.”
He said, “The council that I worked with, the mayors — all were pleasant to work with.”
Describing his approach to serving on the Town Council, he said, “I always felt like I tried to get the information, think about what was best for the majority of people and the town, and then you have to vote according to whatever evidence you’ve been given.”
Serving Windsor was a good experience, he said, “and I appreciate the opportunity to serve the town.”
And he is still open to serving in other capacities.
“I love the town and here to do anything I can to help the present council or any way I can help the town,” he said.
Stubbs read the resolution of gratitude honoring Greg Willis, and the resolution noted that he “served with honor and distinction as a member of the Town Council for the town of Windsor for 14-and-a-half years, of which he served two years as vice mayor, having been a member of the Town Council from July 1, 2008, to Dec. 31, 2022…,” and he served on the Windsor Planning Commission as well.
The resolution stated that Willis “has selflessly given of his time and energy to make the town of Windsor a better community in which to live and work and has rendered his wisdom and leadership in the governing of the affairs of the town of Windsor.”
It concluded by stating that “Greg Willis is recognized, commended and thanked for his loyal and valuable service to the town of Windsor as a member of the Planning Commission, Town Council and vice mayor for the town of Windsor.”
Stubbs turned the floor over to Willis for some remarks after the resolution presentation.
“Let me just say that it was quite a privilege to be able to serve the town of Windsor, having been a ‘come here’ not a ‘from here,’” Willis said. “The town, when I came here, welcomed me with open arms and loved me into good health, and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to have lived and raised my family.”
“It was my honor to serve the citizens of this town, and had it been my druthers, I would still be sitting at that chair (in the council chambers),” he said.
Willis tendered his resignation from the Windsor Town Council near the end of 2022 due to ongoing health challenges.
“But I’m grateful that there was somebody that was willing to come and sit down and take my place, because I can tell you, there are times when I sat down in that chair and it was as comfortable as my La-Z-Boy, but there were other times that I’d come up there and sit down and it was like sitting on pins and needles,” he said.
Reflecting on his 14-and-a-half years of service on the council, he said that as a rule, he “enjoyed most every minute that I sat there.”
He said, “There were times that I spent the Monday night before the Tuesday night (council) meeting on my knees beside my bed, praying to make the right decisions, because they were important that they were the right thing for the entire town, not just the right thing for Greg.
“And I hope that future Town Councils will continue to do the right thing for the entire town and to help it continue to grow slowly and at a pace that we can keep up with and manage,” he said.
He highlighted some key individuals that impacted his life in Windsor, including former Mayor M.H. Robinson, who motivated him to be productive with his time and helped introduce him to town government, and former Mayor Wesley F. Garris, who Willis described as a “dear, dear friend of mine and mentor.”
“Thank you all for having me,” Willis said to those in attendance at the dinner. “Thank you all for having the confidence in allowing me to serve.”
GLYN T. WILLIS
Stubbs read the resolution of gratitude for Glyn Willis, which featured similar language to the resolutions of his fellow honorees and noted that he “served with honor and distinction as mayor of the town of Windsor for four years, from Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2022, and served on the Planning Commission for eight years and four months, from Sept. 14, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2018.”
The resolution stated that the town “wishes to recognize and express its gratitude to Glyn Willis for his invaluable service he has rendered during his time as a member of the Planning Commission and as mayor of the town of Windsor.”
In his remarks at the dinner, Glyn Willis looked back on his time as mayor, a time which featured a series of significant challenges.
“I generally measured my four years by four specific events: The first one was a juvenile justice facility, the second one was a Confederate monument, the third one was a traffic stop, and then the fourth one was the state action based off the traffic stop,” he said. “And then you lay over the top of that — COVID.”
But he noted that he looks back on his time of service with a fondness, recognizing that he was asked to serve as mayor.
“I was there because I felt that I could contribute, and I was asked to help, and it was something that was humbling for me to be there,” he said.
He highlighted a special, historical family connection to town government that served as a source of great encouragement to him.
“I didn’t know (that) my grandfather, my mom’s dad, Sam Alphin, had been the mayor of Windsor at some point until I started coming into Town Hall,” he said, a moment after noting he had seen Alphin in a council photo there from the 1950s. “There were moments of essentially kind of recognizing I think I had him looking after me…”
Willis noted that it was great to work with many of the people in attendance who were on the Town Council when he was mayor.
“I had certain perspectives and values that I was trying to pursue, and it was great to be working with other people that had those same values…,” he said.
He expressed thanks for the opportunity to serve and closed by saying, “I’m thankful for the opportunity to be recognized tonight and be here with you all. Appreciate it a lot.”