The last day of 2008 also was the last day in office for Larry Bock, who represented the 1st District on the Cape Girardeau County Commission for the past 16 years. At a reception earlier this month, friends gathered to honor Bock for his service and recall many of the county's accomplishments during his tenure.
One of Bock's primary responsibilities was to oversee road and bridge needs. While he was on the commission, the county paved 70 miles of county roads, upgraded 90 bridges and culverts and replaced 10 bridges.
Bock also was an early advocate of a half-cent county sales tax to pay for roadwork, but in 1994 his two fellow commissioners weren't ready to put the issue before voters. The tax plan was revived in 2006 and approved, with revenue going to roads, to the sheriff's department and to eliminate the property tax for roads and bridges.
Taken together, the county's successes during Bock's service on the commission have resulted in important improvements. Sixteen years is a long commitment to public service. Bock is to be commended for his dedication.