From the Mayor 05/04/16

Reprinted with permission of the Independence Daily Reporter

I hoped I’d never have to say these words: I’m writing this week from Kansas City. 

Don’t get me wrong. If I’m ever convicted of a crime, and sentenced to live in a giant city as my punishment, I know that Kansas City wouldn’t be a bad choice. After all, I’ve lived in Philadelphia.

So I’m spending my week sitting in my car, inching along at an impressive 1 mph, along with a million other cars clogging up the eight lanes of traffic. The only thing moving quickly is my blood pressure reading. And for those five or ten minutes each day that I’m not stuck in traffic, I’m eating in restaurants filled with unfamiliar faces, none of them smiling.

And while I’m stuck here in KC, friends have been sending me photos of the Town & Country store coming down. I can’t believe I’m missing it; the long anticipated removal of item #4 on Independence’ list of worst eyesores.

Every time I’m stuck in another city, it reminds me even more…I LOVE Independence. 

And the thing I love most about Independence was truly on display Saturday. People caring about other people.

A big “Thank You” to Lisa Wilson and the Pride Committee, who dreamed up and spearheaded the idea of Love Independence Day. 
What an incredible day.  

There were people handing out flowers, others handing out candy. And popcorn. And coffee. And bottled water. And potted plants. There were free blood pressure checks. Church members baking fresh bread and delivering it to neighbors. Kids delivering cards and pictures to Gran Villas and Eagle Estates. A football clinic. 

The crew from First Oak Bank decided to help sponsor a facelift for the exterior of our Independence Cinema; an amazing gift to the city and a wonderfully generous “thank you” to the Shrader’s for the tremendous investment they’ve made in our community. 

The 20th Birthday Party at Textron Aviation was a great celebration, and the air show was an amazing bonus. Truly, could there be a better cause for celebration than having the Cessna plant here in Independence? 

Probably the most visible outcome of the day was that three houses got complete facelifts and practically look like new homes. A gift like that can truly change lives. A great big thank you to Jerry Bright and the Community Mission for Improved Housing; their efforts were amazing. Jerry coordinated volunteers from Atmos Energy, The Hub Church, 1st Presbyterian, Zion Lutheran, Crystalbrook Church, Rotary Club, and 2B Smoking. Maybe most incredible of all, many residents of our homeless shelters came out to help.

A giant “Thank You“ to everyone that participated in a random act of kindness on Saturday. I truly hope that Love Independence Day will become an annual (or daily?) event.

Mayor Gary Hogsett