From the Mayor 04/27/16

Reprinted with permission from the Independence Daily Reporter

I’ve got to start by thanking Karen Carpenter and the countless volunteers who made Independence Community College’s William Inge Theatre Festival a great success last week. What an amazing asset for our city. Thank you, Karen!

And I also feel I must remind you again to attend ICC’s TEDx Talk this Friday at Memorial Hall if there’s any way you can get there. I sent the TEDx flier to friends in Tulsa, Kansas City, and Wichita, and I now have friends driving 100 miles to attend. (Yes, I do have friends, despite what you may have heard). Sign up at

Annie and I wake up every day feeling thankful and honored that we get to live in this community. As I’ve said a million times, we absolutely love Independence. And what better way to share your love for Independence than participating in the city’s first Love Independence Day this Saturday.  

Love Independence Day was championed by Lisa Wilson and the Chamber’s PRIDE Committee. They’re encouraging every citizen of Independence to practice random acts of kindness on Saturday. No act of kindness is too big or too small. 

Think of something that you can do this weekend for a neighbor, or a total stranger. Can you imagine having 9,000 people out trying to do something nice for someone else?

If you’re able to handle a paint brush or a paint roller, please consider helping out the infamous Jerry Bright and the Community Mission for Improved Housing. They have several homes that will be getting makeovers on Saturday. New porches, new siding, but most of all, new paint. Consider helping someone who needs a hand; the work of making our town even more beautiful is a bonus. Bring a roller or paint brush if you’ve got one, a ladder if you’ve got that, but you don’t have to bring a thing. Just show up Saturday morning at 716 West Main. Find Jerry and he’ll give you a job. Jerry’s phone number is 330-2579. Call him any time this week and ask, “How can I help?” 

Once again, there’s so much going on that there’s no way to do everything. But Cessna is also having their 20-year anniversary celebration. If you can get out to Cessna, it sounds like it will definitely be worth your time. If you can’t get there for anything else, try to make it for the air show at 1 p.m. Is there any better cause for celebration than having Cessna here in Independence?

I know it’s easy to take things for granted, especially when it’s something that you’ve had all your life. But those of us who are new to town are constantly amazed what a great place this is. I think that Jerry Harrison, our new Chief of Police, said it best. He spoke at a recent event, and said, “I can’t believe how friendly this town is; I just wish I’d found it sooner.” Annie and I feel exactly the same.

Mayor Gary Hogsett