FLINT TWP. – Sandra Wright, former township treasurer, retired from office in November 2012, after serving five terms, but her legacy will now live on in one wing of the sprawling township administrative building on Dye Road.
Holding the distinction of being the township’s longest serving treasurer. (20 years),
Wright passed away last December 24, at age 73.
The township board approved in September renaming in Wright’s honor the treasurer’s/ sewer and water wing on the northeast side of the building but the official dedication and unveiling ceremony was held last week.
A black and white sign bearing Wright’s name is posted outside above the building entrance and an additional plaque and resolution about Wright’s service will be placed inside the entrance, said Lisa Anderson, current treasurer, who spearheaded the dedication and ceremony.
In addition to Wright’s family, the ceremony was attended by about 50 people including Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell, Genesee County Commissioners Kim Courts and Ted Henry, and former Judge Don Rockwell, current president of the Michigan Bar Association and of the Flint Township Civil Service Commission.
Tracey Tucker, who served as Wright’s deputy treasurer, read a resolution in Wright’s honor from the township board and presented a similar one from the Genesee County Board of Commissioners.
In his comments, Wright’s husband Donald spoke about her commitment to public service and other aspects of her life.
“Sandy put her heart into this program,” he said, offering special thanks to Anderson and board trustee Carol Pfaff- Dahl “for not letting a legacy die.”
One of her proudest accomplishments was helping to arrange financing to build a new police department without raising taxes or the millage rate.
Wright was also a talented singer and seamstress. She was president of the Carman-Ainsworth Booster Club for three years and treasurer for two years. She also was instrumental in staring the annual Carman-Ainsworth parade when the two school districts merged in 1986 and in 1991 she became the first citizen chosen to be the parade’s grand marshal, Don Wright said.
During her tenure as township treasurer, Wright also served on numerous township boards including the Fire Retirement Board; Liquor Advisory Board; and 10 years as Director of the Water/Sewer Department. Other memberships included the Michigan Treasurer’s Association, Government Finance Officers Association and the Municipal Treasurers of the U.S. and Canada. She also achieved the designation of “Certified Municipal Finance Administrator.”
Don Wright also spoke of his wife’s many health challenges including losing an eye after brain surgery and a leg amputation after diabetes. She was released from the hospital on Friday and returned to work the following Monday, he said.
After each illness she bounced back and Wright said he thought she would be able to do so again. But noting his wife’s strong faith, he said: “My wife was special. She is in good hands now.”
Wright died after attending a Christmas Eve service at her church. A blanket depicting a photograph of that service was displayed during the ceremony.
One of Wright’s sons, Shannon, also gave an emotional tribute to his mother whom he described as his mentor and role model.
“She was the most honorable and trustworthy person that I have ever known in my life, “he said, adding his heart-felt hanks to everyone who attended the ceremony.
Wright’s other son, Rusty, an internationally known band leader, lives out of state and was not in attendance.
Part of the ceremony included a brief candle-lighting memorial service in honor or Wright as well as several relatives of township employees who recently passed away.