From the Mayor 07/27/16

Reprinted with permission from the Independence Daily Reporter

Annie and I moved here exactly three years ago this week, so I’m wondering if that means that we’re no longer “new to town.”

Ever since moving here, I’ve heard our amazing city repeatedly described as an “oil town.” I know that was true for a significant part of our history. But with Textron Aviation, Kansas Aviation, Precision Aviation Controls, and now Kelly Aerospace, it would be much more accurate to say that we are an aviation town. So, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce Indy to Kelly Aerospace, our newest company located at the Independence Airport. Kelly has signed a 5-year lease with the city, and will occupy most of our “round top” building there at the airport.

So, who is Kelly Aerospace? The company has been in business since 1984, and their home base is Montgomery, Alabama. From perusing their website, it can be seen that the company is an aviation design and development company dedicated to the integration of aircraft systems for general aviation and commuter aircraft. It has two divisions, Kelly Aerospace Energy Systems and Kelly Aerospace Thermal Systems. It is a small but very diverse aviation company that offers high quality products under its own name, as well as overhauled products that allow aircraft owners to get the parts and accessories they need at low prices. The facility here at our Independence airport will be small and will only employ a few people initially.

But, you know what? I think that’s great. In fact, if it was my choice to make, I’d much prefer to get 20 new businesses, each employing ten people, rather than one big company that employs 200.

Why? If the city is totally dependent on one or two giant employers, and their business drops off, the entire city suffers. But, by having a many small companies, we are more protected from that.

I know that it is convenient for smaller companies who support larger companies to locate near the big company, and that’s what we’re seeing with Kelly. They are a provider of services to Textron. And I am thrilled about it.

But, I would actually prefer that we have 20 small businesses from 20 DIFFERENT industries, for the same reason, stability. Diversity in our businesses is just as important as diversity in our population (or as my wife would say, in your exercise routine). It builds a strong, steady, and in this case economic foundation for our town.  

So, if you get an opportunity to speak to the managers of Kelly Aerospace, or ANY of our local businesses, please tell them how much we appreciate that they are here. Then take that one step further and brag about our town to your friends and relatives that live somewhere else. You never know when something you say will start a chain reaction that will bring another business here.

And, once again, I say thank you to Kelly Aerospace for coming to our special town!

Gary Hogsett, Mayor