The members of Natrona Comes Together are sad and sorry that our good friend, state Sen. Jim Ferlo, has announced he will not seek re-election.
Nine years ago, we approached the senator about the declining quality of life in Natrona. Ferlo suggested we start small: an event to command attention and have a big community impact such as a town cleanup.
On a rainy, miserable day, NCT staged its first cleanup. Ferlo arrived with several Dumpsters, rolled up his sleeves and worked for hours in the pouring rain. We removed literally tons of tires, car parts, wood and waste from Natrona that day. We were shocked by the overwhelming community turnout but realized, “We can take our town back.”
Thousands of volunteer hours later, NCT has accomplished much — a crime-watch program, canoe launch, community garden, new housing, concerts and festivals and an awesome new playground. Among our proudest accomplishments are our Summer Education Programs, which focus on reading, art and sports for children.
Many would not have happened without Sen. Ferlo. He is a visionary, a man of the people and does what he believes is right, regardless of political ramification. I'm honored to have worked with him. He's leaving a huge legacy in Natrona; I can't imagine what this community would be like today without his support.
The senator still has another year in office. But when his term has ended, he'll always be welcomed by his friends in Natrona.
The writer is the president of Natrona Comes Together.
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