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Gary Crenshaw has served as the mayor of Lebanon since 1999, winning re-election more than once, and recently his efforts during the past 13 years were recognized by the Kentucky League of Cities.
On Oct. 12, Crenshaw was named the Elected Official of the Year by the KLC during its annual conference in Lexington.
"I was very humbled by that," Crenshaw said. "I certainly wasn't expecting it."
Crenshaw was nominated for the award by City Administrator John O. Thomas and City Attorney Kandice Engle-Gray.
"John and I were pleased to nominate him because we think he has Lebanon's best interests at heart," Engle-Gray said.
She added that he has followed through on his goals of improving the park and attracting industry to the community.
The KLC noted in its announcement that Crenshaw served on the city council for eight years before he was elected mayor, all while balancing his elected duties with his full-time job as as district director for the Farm Service Agency in the USDA.
The nomination pointed out that Crenshaw has been willing to do the right thing even if it wasn't the most popular decision at the time. Specifically, the nomination mentioned his tie-breaking vote to implement the hotel and restaurant taxes that have provided $2.5 million in revenue for the Lebanon Tourist and Convention Commission since 2003.
Also under his administration, the city has improved the Aquatic Center at Graham Memorial Park, and added an 18-hole disc golf course, walking trails, baseball and soccer fields, and tennis and basketball courts. Crenshaw was also one of the people who supported the creation of the Marion County Office of Economic Development, which is credited with bringing 4,200 jobs and 40 industries to the community.
Crenshaw said local county officials have played a role as well, noting the cooperation that exists here does not exist everywhere.
He was also quick to credit the city's employees for the progress made in the community.
"They're all smart and intelligent. They know what they are supposed to do and they do it," Crenshaw said. "It's wonderful to have people like that to work with."