Handing out compliments

Thursday, September 18, 2008

This week, I want to offer some positive comments about three groups of people that often have thankless jobs. These groups include: city employees, school district personnel and elected officials.

First of all, I want to thank all those who work for the City of Cassville and have been involved in sprucing up town for the past several months. Each Friday, the public works crew sets aside time to target areas of town that need a little attention. Their efforts have involved painting, picking up trash, mowing and repairing items that might have fallen into disrepair. Most recently, the square and one block in every direction was re-striped and freshened up, which really spruced up the appearance of the downtown business district to go along with the Main Street road resurfacing work that was done by MoDOT. City crews have also worked to clean out stormwater drains, ditches, culverts and whistles to help alleviate flood problems wherever possible in this City of Seven Valleys.

I also think the city should be commended on the upkeep of the Greenway Trail, which sadly was damaged this weekend by Hurricane Ike-related rain. So many people of all ages use this trail, and as one of those users, I really appreciate the city's commitment to maintaining it. I understand some major repairs are now needed, but we're sure the city will get to it as soon as the First Street project is underway. It also should be noted that new gravel was added to the back loop of the trail, which is located beyond the wooden bridge in Cassville's South Park. This loop adds more length to the trail, which is appreciated by runners and walkers alike, and also opens up a new area of the park, which is really beautiful. We'd also like to remind people that projects like these start under the direction of the mayor, city council and city administrator, so all of these individuals need to receive a "thank you" as well.

On Sunday, we attended the open house and dedication for the Cassville Intermediate School. There were not many people in attendance, but those who did attend the event, where very impressed with the facilities. Cassville R-IV School District patrons should be very proud of their school district and they in turn should be thanked for their support of a bond issue that made construction of the new school possible. The school board listened to the community's wishes and pursued a building project that voters would support, which was a very wise move and should go a long way toward earning the respect of local taxpayers. The new school provides a state-of-the-art learning environment for the district's third, fourth and fifth grade students and also opened up space for the Cassville Primary School and Cassville Middle School to expand. Currently, there are no temporary, mobile facilities being used as classrooms on the R-IV campus. Our students are benefitting from school leadership that plans ahead for growth and a community that recognizes the needs of our students and supports them. I also can't end my comments about the school without adding that the Cassville R-IV School District has assembled a top rate faculty who also deserve to work in the best facilities possible.

Lastly, I want to thank Rep. David Sater for attending Sunday's open house and being so willing to listen to his constituents. We should never take for granted that our state representative hails from Cassville and is readily accessible to us. Personally, Dave has been very easy for me to communicate with and he is always upfront with answers to the questions I ask. I appreciate his ongoing support for education, his interest and knowledge of healthcare issues and his willingness to assist us with the new Barry County Drug Court, among many other things. Thanks for representing us well.