From the Mayor 09/07/16

Reprinted with permission of the Independence Daily Reporter

Annie and I spent the Labor Day weekend in Dallas. 

The worst thing about Dallas is that it’s not Independence. Dallas is BIG and the traffic is terrible. We felt like we spent about 90% of our time sitting in a sweltering car, trapped in bumper to bumper traffic. Why would anyone choose to live in a big city like Dallas when they could live in a paradise like Independence?

The reason for the weekend in Dallas was that our daughter got married. Yahoo. If you’re a father, you will totally understand and forgive me for saying that my daughter is definitely the most beautiful and talented and wonderful young woman in the world, quite possibly in the history of mankind. The wedding ceremony was held in a beautiful chapel, the bride was gorgeous (as mentioned previously), the bridesmaids were gorgeous, the groom was gorgeous, and so on. After the ceremony, everyone moved on to the reception, where the venue was beautiful, there was a fabulous free meal and free drinks (to be paid for over the next twenty years by you know who), great music, dancing, etc. You get the picture.

After the wedding and reception, the vast majority of the people sought out the father of the bride to say, “Thank you.” Even if you don’t mean it, proper etiquette requires that you tell the father of the bride, (a) thanks for all the free food and especially the liquor, and (b) your daughter is beautiful. I believe I’m correct in saying that everyone on the planet knows that you should say one of two those things, or some variation of them.

But, amazingly, one of my family members sought me out after the reception to tell me that, (1) the venue was boring, (2) the music was too loud, (3) she hates dancing, (4) the food was served too slowly, (5) she didn’t get enough food, (6) the reception was too far from the church, (7) the flowers were boring, (8) who ever heard of a wedding without a wedding cake?

I was stunned. In fact, she left me totally speechless, which frankly never happens. Why would anyone say such a thing? If she was offering me constructive feedback so that I could do better next time, that might be a possible excuse, though a pitiful one. But we only have one daughter and don’t expect to pay for any more weddings.

The comments after the wedding were a bit like being on city commission, in that almost everyone who seeks me out to discuss city matters is polite and respectful. Most of them want to make a suggestion, or register a complaint, or discuss something that would be beneficial; all of which I really do appreciate. But, it seems that there is always going to be that one person in a hundred that just wants to say that their food was cold and that my daughter is ugly. The only useful purpose they serve is to make me appreciate the rest of the great people of Independence, who treat me with respect, even when they totally disagree with me, and are certain that I’m not the “brightest bulb in the pack.”

So, this is a note to that one whiner out of every hundred great people: I will genuinely attempt to treat you with respect, and I would appreciate the same in return. And my daughter is not ugly.

Mayor Gary Hogsett

  1. Gary Hogsett

    Phone: 620-779-0233
    • Professional Engineer, Kansas, 1990 (11653)
    • Professional Engineer, Missouri, 1991 (E-24858)
    • Certified in Energy Management, Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)
    • Lighting Certified, National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP)
    • LEED Accredited Professional, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
    Professional Organizations/Associations
    • 2012 Worldwide President, Association of Energy Engineers
    • Association of Energy Engineers, Region IV Vice-President
    • Illuminating Engineering Society, Topeka Chapter (Past President)
    • Illuminating Engineering Society, Kansas City Chapter (Past President)
    • American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers
    Mr. Hogsett has 33 years of experience in making old buildings more energy efficient and sustainable. He has served as the State Energy Engineer for the State of Kansas. Through his employment with companies such as Armco Steel, Johnson Controls, Burns & McDonnell, Tetra Tech, and CBRE, he has performed energy analysis studies for more than 4,000 buildings. He has engineered and managed several hundred multidisciplinary energy management projects involving lighting and lighting controls, steam systems, compressed air systems, HVAC, high-efficiency condensing boilers, chillers, cooling towers, ground source heat pumps, wall insulation, roof insulation, and replacement windows.

    Mr. Hogsett and his wife, Dr. Anne Hogsett, are also old house enthusiasts and have personally renovated old homes, as well as a downtown historical building. Mr. Hogsett is also a popular speaker and has given more than 300 presentations regarding energy management and sustainability. He has been selected as a speaker at the World Energy Engineering Congress on twelve different occasions, and has won nine Toastmasters International public speaking contests at the District and Regional level.

    • Bachelors of Science, Industrial Engineering, Oklahoma State University, 1980
    • Masters of Science, Industrial Engineering, Energy Management specialty, Oklahoma State University, 1984