Council Member Billy Martin selected Allen and Debra Gurley as May’s Citizens of the Month.
Council Member Martin said he was honored and privileged to recognize the Gurleys, who have been his neighbors for more than 47 years. He stated that the Gurleys were great neighbors, parents, grandparents and friends.
Mr. Martin said for the last 47 years, there had been very few times he hadn’t seen Mr. Gurley headed to work in his van during the early hours of the morning. He stated that Mr. Gurley’s work ethic was something he had never seen before.
Mr. Martin commended Mr. Gurley for the numerous commercial projects he had helped develop in the City of Marion and McDowell County. He compared Mr. Gurley’s legacy to that of former developer Pierce Bradley, who helped develop the North Main Street Corridor.
Mr. Martin stated that the Gurleys worked as a team. He stated that their partnership had helped bring different service oriented businesses to McDowell County, which in turn better served the people of Marion and McDowell County.
Mayor Little then presented Mr. and Ms. Gurley with their Citizen of the Month Certificate. He stated that the Gurleys had been a couple he had known and respected for decades, because of their dedication and commitment to the community.
Council Member Ramsey stated that there was never a time he didn’t see Mr. Gurley working hard on a new project.
Mayor Pro Tem Ayers stated that the Gurleys were a fine example of what vision could do for a community.
City Manager Bob Boyette stated that recognizing the Gurleys was long overdue. He stated that the Gurley’s projects had injected millions of dollars into Marion’s economy.
Council Member Harkey thanked Mr. and Ms. Gurley for their hard work, persistence and strategic risk taking. She stated that their ability and willingness to work hard had helped them develop a legacy that lived on in their children.
Council Member Effler stated that his father once said that the most successful people work out of the ugliest vehicles. He stated that he didn’t mean to call Mr. Gurley’s work van ugly. He said he only brought it up, because the entire community recognized Mr. Gurley’s work van, because of how often it was seen working on exciting development projects in the County.
Council Members then commended Mr. Gurley on redeveloping the building in the corner of South Main Street into his daughter’s new real estate office. They stated that it was hard to believe that building had ever been an eyesore to the downtown.
Mr. Gurley thanked Council Members for their kind words. He then thanked Mayor Little for helping he and Ms. Gurley come up with the name of their business, Gurley Properties, many decades ago.
Mr. Gurley stated that his wife, Debra, had the vision to redevelop the South Main Street Property into what it is today.
Ms. Gurley thanked Council Members for their kind words.