Words of Wisdom from a La Mesa Elder Statesman

LA MESA -- The City Council took a few minutes to put financial worries and public projects aside to honor one of La Mesa's elder statesmen -- former Mayor George Bailey. The Council honored the former mayor on his 91st birthday and Bailey took a few minutes to offer some perspective to the city's current leaders.

"You never get done with it,'' Bailey said of public service. "City government will be around 100 years from now and they'll be worrying about the problems you were supposed to take care of today!''

Bailey, whose tenure as a city council member, mayor and county supervisor, stretches back decades outlined some of the good things government has accomplished locally in his lifetime. He listed among them the formation of the San Diego Association of Governments -- known as SANDAG -- and the East County Economic Development Council. And then he offered a bit more perspective.

"This date today is not the most important in my life,'' he said. "On the 19th of this month, I will have been married to Elaine, my wife, for 66 years. Elaine is a most wonderful lady. She is a durable lady too, which, as all of you know, is important with all the night meetings.'' And in a final message to the gathered city leaders, Bailey offered this perspective: "95 percent of the time you will not be thanked for what you do,'' he said. "But that 5 percent will make it all worthwhile.''

Bailey served as mayor from 1981 to 1984.

Following the presentation, Vice Mayor Dave Allan lead the audience in song and then all adjourned temporarily to share a birthday cake with George and his wife.

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Tags: East County Economic Development Council, Government, Mayor of La Mesa, SANDAG, former Mayor George Bailey

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