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Thank you, Independence

Thanksgiving was a great day to spend time with my husband, Tom, and our children, Nora and John, at our family farm along with my parents, my two sisters, brother in law, and Tom’s parents.  This year’s celebration was especially meaningful to me after learning on Wednesday that I will not have an opponent as I seek re-election as the Mayor for Independence.

Serving on the City Council since 2012 and as mayor since 2014 has been the privilege of a lifetime.  I ran for elected office to make Independence a place where people could be safe, healthy and more prosperous.  Those goals motivate me every day, and I will continue to work towards improved safety, health, and prosperity as your mayor.  Working with businesses and citizens on the things that make Independence an interesting place to live and visit makes my job a delight, and there are many exciting developments in the works to add an element of fun to our great historic town.

I am proud of what has been accomplished over the past 3 1/2  years.  Median income is up, unemployment is down, capital investment is strong, and our city finances are stable. Since I took office, voters have supported tax renewals for police, fire, and streets, passed the motor vehicle licensing tax, and supported bond and levy issues for our school districts and libraries.

In 2017 “Independence for All” was adopted to set a course for the community over five years, outlined in 74 specific strategies www.ci.independence.mo.us/CityCouncil/StrategicGoals. Progress on the goals are tracked and reported to the public through the performance dashboard www.ci.independence.mo.us/CityCouncil/PerformanceDashboard

As I complete my first term as your mayor and prepare for 2018, my efforts will focus on expanding renewable energy options, improving neighborhoods and commercial districts through blight removal and investment, attracting new employers and growing existing businesses, balancing city revenues with the demands of the citizens, and improving public facilities to best serve the needs and expectations of residents. I have set a goal of raising the median income to $50,000 by the year 2020 and increasing our population to 120,000.

Strong, safe, attractive neighborhoods are the bedrock of Independence. In recent days the city has taken ownership of the former Rockwood Golf Club to prevent unwanted development and leverage 90+ acres in Western Independence for a positive use that complements the neighboring residences and schools. This is just one example of the bold decisions I am willing to make to preserve the quality of our city and attract future investment.

I am grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from the voters and taxpayers of Independence and am energized to serve a second term as mayor. Thank you for placing your confidence in me and for giving me the chance to work on your behalf every day.