From the Mayor 08/17/16

Reprinted with Permission of the Independence Daily Reporter

As usual, there’s so much going on in our great city that I hardly know where to begin, but here are a few headlines.

City Hall

What’s the next step? A committee of Independence residents will be formed to decide on the future location of our City Hall. The city commissioners will be interviewing firms to act as a facilitator for that committee. As soon as that choice is made, we will discuss with the facilitator the optimum size for that committee, and then committee members will be chosen. If you’re willing to serve on that committee, let your city commissioners know.


It’s not every day that we have a musical group performing in Independence who have a Grammy, five Number One hits, two gold albums, and 26 singles that hit the Billboard Magazine Hot Country charts. Come and enjoy Shenandoah this Friday. Buy your ticket today and invite all your friends to join you; tickets may be purchased right inside the north door, on the lower level, of the Civic Center. The box office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day and also before the show on Friday.

Popular restaurant changes ownership

Friday, my parents and I had the chance to get to Uncle Jack’s for our final visit to the restaurant under the loving care of Lance and Judy Stanislaus. Lance and Judy have done a fabulous job there for many years, and the restaurant is truly a gem for our city. I know from experience that it draws people to Independence from many other cities. Thank you Lance and Judy! The new owners are Eric and Dalia Umlauf, and Justin and Koralyn Barkman. I’m confident that the new owners will incorporate some great new ideas and make the restaurant even better, although I can’t imagine how it could be improved on. Please come meet and support our newest restauranteurs.

Branch Out

Annie and I are seeing a lot of downed tree branches scattered around our neighborhood. Before moving to Independence, we had never lived anywhere that had a city crew available to come and pick up your tree branches; we’ve always had to haul them off ourselves. But incredibly, Independence offers this service at no charge. Just stack them at the curb and call 332-2507. Be patient, as they’re a bit backed up right now, but they’ll be there within a couple days.

Future Leaders

Great news from Leadership Independence. The number of applicants for this fantastic program exceeded the class size limit, but the leaders of the program have decided to expand the class to accept all applicants. This is truly great news for Independence; no city ever becomes great without a long line of great leaders. Thank you to all class members for stepping up to the challenge.

Circle the Wagons

If you’re not familiar with Independence’s wonderful new Circles program, please attend our next “Celebrate Independence” luncheon to learn all about it. Everyone is invited. It will be held Thursday, September 1, at 11:30 a.m. at the Masonic Lodge at 2000 West Laurel. The cost is $10, and you can make a reservation by calling the Chamber office at 331-1890.

Another Free Movie

If you’ve never attended one of the free downtown movies, please reserve next Saturday, August 27th, for an evening of outdoor fun. Annie and I always try to find some kids to borrow as an excuse to attend, but if you don’t have kids and can’t find any to borrow, come anyway. You really don’t want to miss the fun. The movie this month will be “Planes.” The pre-show activities begin at 7:30 and the movie starts at 8:30.

Mayor Gary Hogsett