From the Mayor 12/07/16

Reprinted with permission of the Independence Daily Reporter

“You Can’t Buy Happiness but You Can Buy Local, and That is Kinda the Same Thing.” - A sign seen inside Reflections Salon and Spa.

One more reminder: Probably the best thing you can do personally for the economic health of our city is to shop locally.

Happy Holidays.  As usual at this time of year, there is just an awful lot going on in Independence. The holiday parade. The Christmas home tour. The Holiday Festival at the library. Christmas in the Park. Too many arts and crafts bazaars to count. But don’t miss the Christmas performance of our High School choir, next Thursday the 15th at 7:00 p.m. I’m told that this is the last year that our choir will be directed by Larry Annable, as he allegedly claims that he will retire after this year. As always, it will be wonderful – get it on your calendar. Perhaps the city commission should pass an ordinance prohibiting Larry from retiring?

Tales from a Dark Alley.  My favorite author of all time, Independence’s own Liz Moore, posted perhaps my favorite Facebook post ever this week: It was dark at 7 a.m. this morning as I walked across downtown to Ane Mae's. Just me and a lone garbage truck following our paths through an icy fog. I thought about the workers, how they have such a tough, unpleasant job. When I rounded a corner to Penn Avenue, I could no longer see the truck, but I listened to the alleyway clangs of dumpsters, the revved-up compacter, the rumble of the truck moving on. Suddenly, a worker yelled "OHHHHHHHH," stopping me in my tracks. An injury?? What?!!! And then, on key, "-klahoma where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain!" There's talent and theater and good cheer everywhere in this town.

Check Your Pulse.  If you haven’t driven by the site of our new micro hospital in the last couple weeks, swing by and check it out. The structural steel is all in place, and all the roof decking is on. The steel studs are expected to be delivered TODAY and interior framing will begin right away. More great news is that two more doctors have been hired. Dr. Caitlyn Nguyen, M.D. and her husband have already moved to Indy and she is accepting new patients; her specialty is Family Practice. For those of you who are not world travelers, her last name is pronounced “Win.” Dr. Melissa McIntosh M.D. has also accepted a position and will join us in Independence on March 20th. A longtime resident of SE Kansas, Dr. McIntosh has a dual specialty of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. This is truly cause for celebration…many, many thanks to Labette Health for this extremely important investment in our community.

Cessna Turbulence. The news that Cessna was bringing the production of the Caravan to Independence was just great news.  Therefore, the recent article in the Reporter stating that the Caravan is NOT being brought to Indy is NOT great news. I wish I had more information to share with you, but I’ve heard nothing further.

SEK Kids Have Talent. This Saturday, don’t miss a chance to see how truly talented our kids are. The event will be held at the Wesley Center, 111 East Maple, beginning at 1:00.

Entrepreneurship Showcase. Mark your calendar for Wednesday, December 14th. Plan to drop by the ICC Fab Lab any time between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. to meet other entrepreneurs and see what kinds of interesting ideas they’ve come up with. 

City Hall, Stay or Move?  Why is this decision taking so long? The city commissioners interviewed five firms as potential facilitators for the City Hall task force. Initially, the commissioners chose to negotiate with Burns and McDonnell. Our city attorney attempted to negotiate a contract with them for countless weeks but we were unable to reach an agreement. So, the commissioners have decided to begin negotiations with our second choice, Treanor Architects. That process will begin tomorrow evening at 5:00 p.m. and you are welcome to stop by and listen in. I’m always hopeful, surely we’ll be able to reach an agreement and will be selecting the committee members very soon.

Pop The Cork. The Independence Community Chest will be sponsoring a New Year’s Eve Gala again this year. It will be held in the beautiful Booth Hotel ballroom, and is a fund raiser to support countless wonderful non-profit organizations throughout Indy and the surrounding area. Tickets can be purchased at Ane Mae’s, Magnolia’s, and Sayers Ace Hardware. The evening includes food, dancing to a live band (Signal Twenty-Nine), and a champagne toast at midnight.

Albert Einstein once said, "There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." To me, Independence is clearly an amazing miracle.

Mayor Gary Hogsett