The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

January 2, 2014

Local leaders, residents resolve to make strides in 2014

By Kim West

— Based on a psychology study released last year by the University of Scranton, only 8 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions follow through with them but for many Americans, the practice has become a way to start fresh and make new goals.

Common resolutions range from quitting smoking to saving money, along with drinking less, taking a trip, eating healthier and being better stewards of the environment, according to

The News Courier asked the following local leaders and residents to share their resolutions or outlooks for the upcoming year:

• Ann Elmore Priddy, a 73-year-old Athens resident, responded she is “old enough to know I won’t keep them I don’t make any;”

• Leslie Bolton Campbell, 25, of West Limestone said she intends “to relax more, trust in what life throws at us, enjoy time with my husband and kids and live life to its fullest;”

• Wilbert Woodruff, who works 12-hour swing shifts and serves as president of the Limestone NAACP, said “I don’t like to make resolutions because I would always like to do better than the previous year. But if I had to make one, it would be to spend more time doing service work at my church, David Temple Missionary Baptist, and in the community in general;”

• West Limestone High School Principal Charlotte Craig said she plans “to smile more and be more positive no matter the situation” and “to increase her mission work in Haiti and help make students more aware of community service opportunities;”

• Mayor Ronnie Marks: “My most primary goal is always public safety. As we approach the 10th year anniversary of losing two police officers (today), it reminds us of how critical public safety is, whether it be police or firefighters, or other workers that put their lives on the line in critical situations, such as gas department workers or electric line workers during times of natural disasters. My personal resolution is to do better at focusing on personal health. I kind of run wide-open with a triple-A personality, and I need to be walking more and making time for exercise.”

• Rita White, director of the county EMA, said she is looking forward to the building of several new community storm shelters, with site work already underway in Elkmont and Cowford. “We’re on the verge of getting those started within the next six months. By the end of 2014, I hope we have several of them finished.”

• Jeff Pugh, a teacher and head football coach at East Limestone High School, said he always makes resolutions, along with his family. “Professionally, I want to have a much better work ethic with our football program. We always strive to get a little better — when you go 2-8, you’ve got to have that one. For our family, we want to try to be more godly and stay a little closer to the church.”

• When asked if he would consider skydiving in the new year, County Commission Chairman Stanley Menefee, who formerly piloted small aircraft, joked it would require “two or three men large enough to push him out of the airplane.” On the serious side, he has “enjoyed good health and hope to enjoy that down the line. I hope next year is a good as this one has been because we’ve had an extremely good year, economic development-wise and growth-wise. It’s been a good year working with the commission, the city and city of Decatur, and I’m proud of Limestone County and where it’s at. We’ve been on a roll for several years, and I don’t think it’s over.”