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Elba city clerk sees bright future for town

Sally Bane, the city clerk of Elba, has spent most of her professional life in some kind of public service.

After leaving her home town of Montgomery, Bane went to Auburn University where she earned degrees in rehabilitation services and special education. Then, she moved to Elba where her husband, Bradley Bane, is from.

Here, she worked at a nursing home and realized that she had interests outside of what she graduated in. Specifically: accounting. "Turned out I really liked math, and I wasn't half bad at it," Bane said.

Accounting work would follow Bane through her future jobs at both a nursing home in Enterprise and at a maintenance company at Fort Rucker.

Bane said that her work at Fort Rucker was especially meaningful. "My time in Fort Rucker was special to me because I felt like I was helping my country," she said. "It's kind of silly, but in some way, I felt like I was doing my part the best that I could."

However, after a few years of working at there, Bane decided to try and move her professional life back to Elba, closer to her family.

"It was a great job," Bane said about her time at Fort Rucker. "I had no complaints about my job, except for I was 45 minutes away from my family."

Family and professional life seem to be tied closely in Bane's life. After she and her husband were married in 2008, they tried to start a family.

"I had gotten a new position at the nursing home–my accounting position. So, we really just decided that we would sit back and let God control and concentrate on work and not be so worried about having a baby," Bane said. "The next month, I was pregnant."

Today, with the help of close relatives, both of the Banes continue to work while raising a current total of three children.

"God has just always worked it out," Bane said. "Our kids have always been a benefit and an asset to us."

When Bane learned that there was an opening in Elba for a city clerk position in November 2018, she applied.

"After much prayer and consideration, we decided that I would apply, and if it was God's will it would work out," Bane said. "And if it wasn’t, I had a great job so I wouldn't really lose anything if I didn't get it."

The next month, Bane got the position and began working for the city.  According to Bane, her new position has a similar appeal as her work at Fort Rucker did.

"I feel like working for the city that I live in and that my children are going to school in is special because I have an input in our future," Bane said.

Having now worked as city clerk for a little over six months, Bane is getting to see what that input looks like and what it can do.

"I get to work with the mayor and work with Pat [Boothe] on the future of our city and how our funds can be best utilized for the future of our city," Bane said. That includes knowing how "to keep a little back for a rainy day, but also how we can best invest in our future by doing different projects around the city to better the community," she said.

Some of the projects that Bane is most excited about have direct impacts on the citizens of Elba.

"I am very excited about the downtown project," she said. "I think that is going to be wonderful. The revitalization and everything that we have got going on down there is going to bring more community spirit to our little town."The bypass is another project that Bane said she thinks will greatly benefit the city.

“I am excited about the bypass and the traffic that it is going to bring through our town," she said. "I think that we can use that opportunity to really capitalize on bringing people in and just showing them how great our little town of Elba can be."

Looking forward, Bane said she wants to ensure that Elba is a place citizens can be proud of.

"My long-term goals for the city," she said, "would be for us to be a prosperous city where my children are proud of where they grew up, where we all still know each other by name, where people know who we are and know how great our town is."

Tags: Elba

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