Newton's first law of motion - sometimes referred to as the law of inertia. An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
In Chanute we have started the motion, and we must keep the positive force moving forward. We cannot let the “unbalanced” negative forces deter us from our goal of a prosperous and growing Chanute economy and way of life. I have learned many things over the past year with the CRDA, but the greatest lesson I have learned is simple.
The greatest failure is to do nothing.
We cannot expect anyone to invest in our community if we do not invest in ourselves. Unfortunately many communities get caught in the same trap, “If we do JUST enough it will be OK”, and if time is an indicator with many towns in Southeast Kansas, “Just enough”, is not working. Growth is a math equation at it’s very basic, Growth =Energy Time. It does take time to change your perspective, to change your performance, but with hard work, dedication, and synergy among our community, anything is possible.
In any many economic settings, the world is set with the 10%-80%-10% rule. 10% will discourage growth & prosperity, 80% are neutral to the idea and have an open mind and will await and research the facts, and 10% will be on board no matter what with growth regardless of the price to pay. My hope is that many of you are in the 80% group, open to economic development as long as it is in the best interest of the city and its citizens. With this in mind, the CRDA will always have an open door policy, and will share the facts that we can, within confidentiality guidelines, to make as many citizens feel informed about this growth so that the decisions being made are discussed, debated, and hopefully moving forward if a positive project. If a project were to fail, that is fine. The CRDA doesn’t hold onto to losses very long for in this life there is always “NEXT”. When things don’t go Chanute’s way, we simply must pick ourselves up, look in the mirror and say “NEXT”.
In October, Mayor Chaney, Senator Jeff King and I were very fortunate to have time in Topeka with Kansas Secretary of Commerce Antonio Soave and his staff. Before we could even begin, his staff was singing the praises of Chanute picking itself up by the bootstraps when much of Southeast Kansas is in a regressive, idle state. We shared with Secretary Soave Chanute’s aggressive, can’t lose attitude as we are not building this for resumes or accolades. We are building this for our children, for our ancestors that settled here, for our hometown, which will be our homes for many years to come. Our goal with this meeting was to share and inform State Officials that Chanute and Neosho County is on the right path and we are not stopping anytime soon, and to not forget our economic growth come budget session time. As they say “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”.
Over the past year I have had quite a few spirited discussions with many of you. I deeply enjoy the sharing of thoughts I have encountered and the debates that have arisen. That is good, that is what we need, is to never let the discussions die. The momentum must never cease, there will be times that we are moving a little slower one year over the other, but we have to keep the meetings of the minds, the vision public and moving forward. Lastly, I would like to thank the citizens of Chanute during my first year with the CRDA; I am reminded daily why this is a great city worth fighting for.