Hello and welcome to my column.

Thanksgiving arrives in a few days and I hope you have the opportunity to spend this wonderful holiday with your family and friends. Giving thanks helps remind us of how fortunate we really are.

As mayor of the city of Ada, I want to give thanks for the many people who make this community such a great place to live. As I look around at the many faces I know, I recognize and appreciate what they do to make Ada so special.

I want to start by thanking city of Ada employees. We all can be very proud of the care, effort, and dedication that go into their work. You can see it in the projects they complete. I’ve visited many other Oklahoma communities so believe me when I say we are very lucky to have them.

I want to thank my fellow Ada City Council members – Barbara Young, Darrell Nemecek, Roger Cupps, and Frank Stout. As a council, I feel like we have shared a cooperative spirit and have made some positive steps in the last couple of years. Again, looking at other communities’ troubles makes me appreciate this even more.

I want to thank our business people. I think someday we’ll all look back and see 2004, 2005, and 2006 as very special years in Ada’s economic development. We have all enjoyed new businesses coming to town, as well as the expansion of established ones. Our jobless rate is down, our choices are up, and there’s more growth on the way.

I want to thank Ada’s spiritual community. From our churches to our non-profits to our volunteers, this community steps forward time and time and time again to do whatever it takes to help those in need. We see it so often that we risk taking it for granted. I want to make sure we don’t do that.

I want to thank our local educators who work tirelessly to teach our children above and beyond the basics. This community is home to three outstanding public school systems, a top-notch technology center, and a world-class university. Each produces bright, well-mannered young people who we hope will stick around for Ada’s exciting future!

Finally, I want to thank you – the people who choose to make Ada your home. There are so many places to live, each with its own special brand of hospitality. But there is only one Ada, and I can’t help but feel like great things are happening here. I hope you all enjoy a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

I hope you enjoyed this column. Be sure to check back every other week for more. To read more of my columns, visit www.adaok.com/donna_york.htm. Drop me a line atmayor@adaok.com and share your thoughts with me. I’ll keep you informed!