From the Mayor 11/02/16

Reprinted with Permission of the Independence Daily Reporter

Neewollah!  This was only my third Neewollah, so I’m no authority, but surely Saturday was the best day ever for a Grand Parade. I just can’t imagine a more perfect, more beautiful day. Many, many thanks to the roughly 1.6 trillion volunteers that stepped up to help make the miracle that is Neewollah run so smoothly. Since Annie and I don’t have grandkids, I borrowed my sister’s grandkids to ride in the parade with me and they were blown away. After they’d seen everything downtown, they begged to go spend the rest of the day at the zoo, and were blown away again. My borrowed 8-year-old “granddaughter” said, “Your town has amazing public services!” What 8-year-old talks like that? But she’s right, and as mayor, I was privileged once again to hear many compliments on our park and zoo, which was packed on Saturday. I would also like to send out a special thanks to the city crews, the Boy Scouts, and everyone else who helped with the thankless job of cleaning up the enormous amount of trash that was scattered around our downtown. That was no small chore, but thanks to their efforts, our downtown is sparkling again.

Home Sales Flying High.  Two different realtor friends have commented this week on how strong the home sales are in Independence right now. They tell me that we have home buyers moving here from California, Florida, Iowa, and New Jersey, among other states. I’m guessing that people from other states have finally heard about Independence, and at last we’re being recognized as the newest “hot spot” for amazing growth. Sort of like Silicon Valley, but without the smog.

Cast in Concrete.  If you haven’t driven by the site of our future “micro” hospital lately, swing by Peter Pan Road and check it out. The concrete is all in place, and we should start seeing steel in the air any day. This is truly cause for celebration…many, many thanks to Labette Health for this extremely important investment in our community.

Gone to the Dogs.  Monday afternoon, a party was given in honor of Fire Chief Rusty Baker’s retirement. Rusty tells me that one day, some 25 years ago, he was minding his own business…working as a brick mason…when someone suggested that he apply for an opening as a firefighter. He applied on a whim, and has loved it ever since. Thank you Rusty for your many years of service to the community.

Fajitas at Margarita’s.  Margarita’s is now open, offering us yet another great downtown option for lunch or dinner, seven days a week. Right now they’re squeezed into the space that was previously occupied by Frank’s Dogs, but they plan to expand into the Cherry Berry space soon. The restaurant is owned and operated by the same owner as Cielito Lindo in Coffeyville, so if you enjoy Cielito Lindo, you’ll no doubt enjoy Margarita’s. They don’t have their liquor license yet, but don’t worry, it’s in the works.

Pull Up To Window 2.  We get drive-thru hamburgers, drive-thru tacos, and drive-thru donuts. Don’t forget about the drive-thru flu shots this Saturday, in the comfort of your own car. All you need to do is bring a can of soup or a jar of peanut butter for the food pantry. This amazing event, sponsored by First Presbyterian Church and the Lion’s Club, will take place Saturday - rain or shine - on the Oval at Riverside Park. The fun begins at 9:00 a.m. I understand that they have enough for 300 injections, so don’t wait too long to get there.

First Friday.  Come and join us Friday morning for free coffee and muffins, and great conversation. This monthly event, sponsored by our amazing Chamber of Commerce, is great fun and is always informative about things going on in Indy. Be there at Memorial Hall around 7:30 or so. Everyone is invited, and the coffee and muffins are provided by Ane Mae’s, so you know they will be great.

Vote!  Annie and I have already taken advantage of the option to vote early…if you can’t get to the polls on election day, you can stop by the courthouse nearly any time and vote early. In addition to the presidential contest, we have several extremely important local and state positions to be decided.

The vaunted theoretical physicist 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." Annie and I choose to see Independence as an amazing miracle.

Mayor Gary Hogsett