MOUNT VERNON — As Mount Vernon residents over the years have been able to admire the beauty of Arch Avenue Park, the service of three local servants was admired Monday afternoon in a special ceremony.
Chuck Dice, Dory Dice and John Booth were honored by the Mount Vernon Shade Tree and Beautification Commission and members of Mount Vernon City Council for their numerous years of dedicated service to the community. Chuck Dice and John Booth will both be ending their final term on Mount Vernon City Council at the end of 2011.
In their honor, it was decided that three trees be planted at Arch Avenue Park so that city residents could remember their contributions to the community. Dr. James Brown and Allan Helser, members of the Shade Tree and Beautification Commitee, welcomed numerous guests to the ceremony on Monday which was led by Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis.
Mavis told how Chuck Dice had been a member of City Council for 14 years and president for 23 years. He shared statistics of the year 1966 when Dice began his term in office, noting how many things have changed in that time. He told of the selfless efforts Dice and his wife, Dory, both gave so that the community could enjoy the beauty of the park. Mavis called her “the caretaker of the flowers,” adding that the city will always be grateful for all that she did.
“I want to thank the Shade Tree Commission for the honor they are giving me and my wife, Dory,” said Chuck Dice. “She loved flowers.”
Telling how he was chosen to be the chairman of the parks committee of council, he told how Dory would come over and plant flowers in the spring, water them in the summer, weed them and take care of them. “She wanted the park to look good. I know tonight she’s asking me to tell all of you ‘Thank you for the honor you are giving her,’” said Dice.
Turning his attention to Council President John Booth, “John Booth came on council in 1972, 21 years as member, 13 1/2 years as president,” said Mavis. He then told of statistics from the year 1972 when Booth began his service.
“I’ve been mayor for 16 years. John has this wonderful demeanor of treating everyone fairly and with courtesy. But he knows when he needs to put the hammer down,” said Mavis. “John has been a great leader for our city. He has worked on council not only helping make our city a better place to live but helping me along the way as well.”
“The city has changed so much, there have been so many improvements, the parks in particular, over the last 35 years,” said Booth. “They have changed dramatically with so many facilities added. It took a lot of work. I’m proud of the parks.”
“The parks is one of the great opportunities we have to talk about,” continued Mavis. “The other thing is leadership. A lot of people who have lived here over the years will attest to the fact that the city has had good leadership. Two of those people are with us tonight. And I want to thank you for not only the time I’ve been here, but all those years before. Mount Vernon is a better place because you both have served here many years.”
“We’re hoping this can be a rebirth of this park,” said Mavis in closing. “Chuck talked about the ‘good ole days.’ We’ve had a few years past when there were some issues, but now we think we’re on the upward trail.”
“We know we are,” said Dice.