Mount Airy lost a leader and a public servant this week with the death of city commissioner Scott Graham.
In this day when so many running for office, even on the local level, seem to do so for political reasons, or personal gain, Mount Airy has been blessed with a mayor and board of commissioners who have sought — and won — elected seats for seemingly no other reason than to serve their fellow city residents.
That is a rare commodity in today’s world, and to lose a man of Graham’s caliber is a blow not only to his family and close associates, but to all who live and work within the city borders.
Graham died on Thursday morning after a battle with cancer. Though he served only two years in office, he set a standard as a commissioner who was characterized by his colleagues as honest, solid, thorough, and one who understood how to cut straight to the heart of any issue before the board.
He also worked hard at continuing that service, still making it to most meetings even as that illness advanced and made many routine tasks difficult.
While those who were close to him grieve over his loss, the commissioners must also look forward as to how his seat will be filled. While no one can fully replace what Graham brought to the board, we know there are many individuals in the city who can bring their own, unique talents and abilities to the commission.
We hope the board will give all who are interested an opportunity to make their case, and that the process is carried out in public, as other vacancies have been filled in recent years. And we hope whoever takes the open position on the board will remember, as Graham showed so well, it is a position of service to the public.