A Thanksgiving Message by JJ Murphy of Hobbs, New Mexico

While a little bit late, I wanted to wish all of you a heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.

We have many choices in life… sometimes all of us look at the benefits, positions or money that others have and try to wonder what it must be like to be so fortunate. But sometimes we are all put in a place where we look in the mirror and realize how blessed we are and grateful for what we have, for there are others looking at us wishing they were as fortunate as us.

I say these words not to preach but to share a message. There have been special times in my life that are ingrained in my mind where I look back and realize how blessed I have been.

In the military five years ago, I knew there were terrorist outside of our gates who were being offered $25 dollars to kill or capture Americans. That does not sound like a lot to you or I, but that $25 could feed a man’s family in Djibouti or Somalia for a month. Many of us left the safety of our gates every week to spend time at the local orphanages. We did that not to get volunteer credit, we did it because we are Americans! We are very fortunate, we share our blessings and our freedom is a huge part of who we are. I will never forget those moments.

As a City Manager, one of those “ah ha” moments just happened the other day. I wish every one of you could have seen the look on the faces of the Morale Committee members and Department Heads when I, JJ Murphy, asked them if they would like to give up our opportunity for a holiday party and put one on for the community. I know we will have only 20 days from Monday’s first meeting to pull this off, but I know our team and nothing is going to stop us from showing our gratitude to this community. I will never forget the look on the faces in that room.

I personally need to do a better job of thanking the employees who go the extra mile.  I could name a bunch of you but let me take the time to point out two people who really have gone the extra mile for us.

Tara Wood has an incredible legal mind and has been working her tail off doubling her duties to assist in the transition in our Human Resources Department. While many of you think the work has been easy, I get to see how late she stays to insure our operations and employees have seen a seamless transition while at the same time keeping her legal duties churning.

For those of you who work in City Hall and come in the back door, we are greeted every morning by Jeff Sanford who often holds the door and shares his big smile with us.  I think he will share his bag of cheerios or frosted mini wheat’s if we ask as well.

These are two employees, and I know we have hundreds, who go the extra mile for us. Thank you Tara and Jeff!

So this week, let’s share the Attitude of Gratitude and may each of you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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