There's a tradition in the military called "hail and farewell"--an event that celebrates arrivals and departures at the same time as a show of continuity in a time of change. And so, I cannot possibly begin my first day as editor of Fort Lee Patch without recognizing the achievements of the editor from whom I am taking the reins.
Over the course of the past two years I have had the opportunity to work with Erik Wander and get to know him. A quiet man of marked achievement, he is a tremendously gifted writer who can report the news in the most balanced and fair way possible. He cared deeply about providing the residents of Fort Lee with a community forum through Patch and he's done a remarkable job building upon, and sustaining, that community.
Fort Lee Patch is Erik's baby--he built it up from the ground by walking door to door, meeting to meeting, event to event, and introducing everyone to a new experiment in community news. The groundwork he laid makes my job easy by comparison.
As I come back to my hometown to report the news and events of Fort Lee I would like to thank everyone who has already extended their warm wishes of welcome to me. I look forward to this new adventure, though I am fully aware of the very large shoes I am stepping into.
I would like you to know that I am always accessible, so if you have a story to share, or a community event you'd like covered, just send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or grab my ear whenever you see me around town.
Erik, I'm not alone in wishing you the greatest luck on your new adventure. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for trusting me with your baby--I hope I make you and the residents of Fort Lee proud.