From the Mayor 05/18/16

Reprinted with permission from the Independence Daily Reporter

The greatest masterpiece is created from thousands of tiny brushstrokes.
As usual, there’s so much going on in Independence, I hardly know where to start, but here are a few headlines:

Worth the wait: More trees downtown
A large group of city staff, along with other citizens, gave up their Sunday morning on May 15 to plant 17 more trees downtown. The trees have been a long time coming, but now the downtown is looking gorgeous. 

Chat with the Chief
Our new Chief of Police, Jerry Harrison, held a Listening Session at Ane Mae’s this morning. You may not know that there were 30 applicants for the Police Chief position, and eight of those were interviewed, so we were able to choose from a number of exceptional candidates. Independence is blessed to have someone of Jerry’s caliber taking over this role. Please find an opportunity to meet Jerry and welcome him to Independence if you missed the chance this morning.

Celebrate at a block party
Coffeyville Regional Medical Center has made a significant commitment to Independence’ beautiful downtown, performing a major remodel of the Union Gas Building at 122 West Myrtle to house a clinic. CRMC has done a beautiful job, and you really need to see it. To celebrate, they’re throwing a big party from 3-6 p.m. this Friday. The block will be closed to traffic and there will be games, inflatables for the kids, and my personal favorite…free food. Stop by and join in the fun.

Popular restaurant is remodeled
Yesterday, Annie and I got a chance to visit El Pueblito Mexican Restaurant at 1721 North Penn to see the results of their extensive overhaul. It is really beautiful, and allows much better customer flow. I thought the place was wonderful before, but they have really taken it up a notch.

Back by popular demand: Free movies
If you’ve never attended one of the free downtown movies, please reserve Saturday, May 28, as we kick off another season of incredible outdoor fun. The brainchild of Andy McLenon and Aaron Heckman, this event in the parking lot of Community National Bank & Trust began one year ago and grew larger every month of the summer into one of the biggest outdoor events to be found in the area. Annie and I always try to find some kids to borrow as an excuse to attend, but if you don’t have kids, come anyway. You really don’t want to miss the fun. The kickoff movie will be “Toy Story.”

Construction begins on new hotel
In case you haven’t noticed, the earth movers have started work on our new hotel. It’s happening just west of Orscheln’s Farm & Home, 2900 West Main. A top-of-the line Comfort Inn & Suites will have 56 rooms, and nine of those will be suites. These suites will be a great help to both Textron Aviation (Cessna) and Cobalt Boats, as their very prosperous customers come to Independence and prefer to stay in premium-quality lodging. Owner Dilip Patel is investing some $5 to $6 million and has indicated that he will employ about 15 employees, including a local manager.

Celebrate it all
If you’d like to meet Dilip and learn more about his project, plan to attend the next “Celebrate Independence,” a quarterly lunchtime program sponsored by the Independence Chamber of Commerce that is always informative and a good time. The next one will be at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 2, 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.

Mayor Gary Hogsett