From the Mayor 11/30/16

Reprinted with Permission of the Independence Daily Reporter

“If you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, you have to be systematic about it.  Otherwise, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”  Henry Mulligan

In my column two weeks ago, I offered a list of the top 10 things about Independence that I’m most thankful for. After our water emergency last week, I need to add three more: (1) city staff, (2) fellow citizens who rally in a crisis, and (3) hot showers. I’m really, really thankful for those today. As you probably know, some of our neighboring communities did not fare as well as Indy. Our city staff really went the extra mile during our water emergency, most of them cancelling their Thanksgiving plans including travel with their families. Please say “Thanks” to any police officer or fire fighter that you see today, then pat yourself on the back and stand a little taller, because it is great to be a part of this amazing community. It was an uplifting experience for me to see our city staff and citizens perform in an emergency

And, as an example of perfect timing, tomorrow (Thursday) at 11:30, we will be honoring our emergency personnel at Celebrate Independence held at the Mason Hall. Our speakers will be Police Chief Jerry Harrison, Public Safety Director Dave Cowan, and Detective Chad Dunham from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Everyone is invited, please join us. Contact the Chamber office for more details or to make a reservation.

I Love a Parade, Chapter 2. Thank you, thank you for supporting our downtown holiday parade, it was a huge success. Thanks especially to the Independence Optimist Club and Independence Main Street organization who sponsored the event. It seemed to me that there were an awful lot of people downtown shopping and enjoying the carriage rides. The parade had more entries than usual; while we typically have 30 to 35 floats, this year we had 48, and the floats were especially high quality. Huge thanks especially to Gregg Webster, Tabatha Snodgrass, and Hank Modich.

First Friday.  After joining us Thursday at noon, be sure and join us again on Friday morning, at 7:30 a.m. at the Civic Center. This is a great chance for free muffins and hot coffee from Ane Mae’s, sponsored by the Independence Area Community Chest. Take a few minutes to visit with a crowd of friends, and learn more about the long list of things going on in the city.

Spell it Out.  The Library’s First Annual Spelling Bee was a great time, and if you weren’t able to participate, promise yourself to join in next time. Even if you hated Spelling Bees as a kid, there are several huge differences between those spelling bees and our library’s version. First, this was a team effort so you and your teammates all confer and agree on your guess before writing the word down. Plus, the other tables don’t see your spelling, so you never really feel stupid. Third, cheating is encouraged, but if you get caught there is a $10 fine (remember, this is a fund raiser). And, most important, when you participated as a kid, you weren’t allowed to drink heavily as you spelled. Believe me, it makes all the difference. About 80 people competed, and the event raised over $3,000 for our children’s library. We need to thank a ton of people for making this event happen, especially Linda and Dave Grice for donating the use of their amazing Booth Hotel ballroom. There likely have been bigger spelling bees held elsewhere, but none have been held in a more beautiful venue. Jim Fischer served as our esteemed Word Pronouncer. Others that had integral roles were Brandon West, Carolyn Torrance, Hannah Johnson, Jeri Hopkins, John Long, Brittni Trytek, DeeDee Rungee, Bill Gour, Charlene Mitchell, Todd Young, Paul and Carol Fairbank, Mark and Leslie Coder, Wayne and Sue Landwehr, Ned Stichman, Raina Gour, Patsy Bresee, Jamie Beurskens, Jonathan Thompson, and Joanna Blankinship. There were probably others; I apologize to anyone I missed. Thank you all for your efforts!

I’m constantly amazed at how many people in this town volunteer, and come out to participate and offer support. You know, there are a lot of towns where a small handful of people do everything, but that is certainly not the case in Indy. Whether there is a fund raiser to plan, a fund raiser to attend, a parade just for fun, or a water crisis, the people of Independence make it happen and in most cases, have a great time doing it!

Mayor Gary Hogsett