The next chapter

As the next chapter of my personal life is gaining focus and clarity, I’m drawn to reflect on a great statement from Mayor Brown with regard to public service. His statement was posed in the form of a question. “Do you want to be remembered as a Politician or a Statesman?”

For many today, the difference between the two has been lost in the social media age in which truth and fact have become optional.

Just for the record, the difference between the two is that a Politician does and says everything in light of the next election and the Statesman consistently acts with the well-being of the next generation in front of mind.

The key to Statesmanship during my service on Council has been deeply anchored in the governing body collectively gathering the best possible information and then making tough decisions that will or have had positive impacts for future generations of Marion residents.

I’m so very proud to have had the opportunity to be a small part of the great accomplishments of this governing body over the last 7 years.

As a team, we’ve been able to restore cash reserves (673K to 1,461K) while reducing debt (8,156K to 3,518K) all while holding the mill levy to valuation trend. Sorry, the Banker coming through for a moment.

However, this Statesman is most proud of the community accomplishments without additional debt to future generations.

We often have forgotten to celebrate the countless accomplishments along this wonderful journey. We’ve taken for granted things like a downtown revitalization project, the levee accreditation to save residents and business owners on flood insurance, improvements in the electrical system including a retirement of a sub-station near the elementary school, major park improvements in Central, East, and Ann’s park. In addition to accomplishments, the positive community momentum has brought business expansions and growth to the community resulting in increased sales tax revenues to keep fueling this wonderful engine for the future. Thank you to our new restaurants, retailers, and service providers.

While there will always be challenges and those “Would-a, Could-a, Should-a” things, we are focused strongly on what actions will bend the curve on the Wichita State University 50-year population study of 2016. We have projects in the works to add renewable (Solar) energy to our electrical utility made possible by a grant from the Kansas Power Pool.

We are working on projects with private companies to improve broadband and cellular service to our city and the surrounding community to keep our community a place of choice for families to grow and prosper. Our Economic Development efforts are focused on regional business recruitment, housing development and access to grants & tax credits for our local entrepreneurs.

From the bottom of my heart, I hope the Citizens of Marion will elect officials that are committed to the growth and prosperity of our community for generations to come.

We’ve got tremendous momentum to carry us forward. By the power of our vote and voice, we can accelerate this momentum.