Frank Gibson, Executive Director of Tennessee's Coalition for Open Government, received Smithville first ever "Citizens Appreciation Award" during Monday night's city council meeting.
The award was presented to Gibson by Alderman Tonya Sullivan.
In making the presentation, Alderman Sullivan stated that "Smithville is honored this evening by the presence of Frank Gibson, a distinguished state leader who has devoted his career to opening government action to the inspection of every citizen"
"The executive director of Tennessee's Coalition for Open Government, Mr. Gibson, perhaps more than any other single State leader, has been the driving force behind the formation and implementation of Tennessee's current Sunshine Law."
"Following a forty year career as a reporter and editor of The Tennessean, including a 12 year stint in Washington D.C. as the paper's political editor, our guest chaired the Tennessee Press Association's Freedom of Information Committee, and is it's first and only receipient of the TPA Presidents Award."
"A graduate of the University of Tennessee and an Army vet, Mr. Gibson is a past national president of the Society of Professional Journalists and chaired the group's First Amendment Education campaign. As a humanities Fellow at the University of Michigan, he studied First Amendment law and southern history."
"He retired in 2005 to run TCOG, an influential leadership organization that works to improve and preserve public records and sunshine laws. His most recent appointment was to represent the Tennessee Press Association to the Advisory Committee on Open Government. Thanks to his courageous leadership, the sun shines with increasing brightness on Smithville's municipal government."
‘In recognition of your dynamic leadership and consistently courageous commitment to the rule of law and open government, it is my honor to present you with this plaque commemorating your service and to present you with Smithville's first ever Citizens Appreciation Award.'
"I would like to thank you for the encouragement that you have offered the city of Smithville. You have led by example! Open government is important to every citizen."