Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 185
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for April 10, 2003

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

Dear Editor

Last week showed what people will do when given the opportunity to help out around town. On Tuesday, the Taste of Warrensburg benefit event drew another great crowd. On Saturday, enthusiastic volunteers from CMSU worked at a number of projects, including one at Blind Boone Park.

The Taste of Warrensburg event is an example of a Warrensburg-based project that benefits the whole county. The Early Bird Rotary is raising money to pay off the “Safety House” that was purchased last year to teach children and adults what to do in fires or other emergencies. The “Safety House” belongs to the rural fire district that serves most of the eastern part of the county, but it is available for use throughout the county.

The Blind Boone Park effort is one that benefits Warrensburg yet draws significant support from people who don’t live in the city. Over 60 CMSU students helped out on Saturday by cleaning up brush and trash, planting flowers, spreading mulch and doing other labor-intensive projects. While the regular volunteers, including quite a few west-side residents, have worked steadily on improvements, a 2-hour infusion of enthusiastic labor has saved weeks of work.

When people in the larger community work together and welcome involvement by all, we see progress. When government units or civic organizations try to create and protect their own little fiefdoms, we see conflict, wasted effort and failure. Too many times we see an idea or effort go nowhere when certain power groups won’t support it just because it was “not invented here.” Too many times we see out-county distrust of Warrensburg (or arrogance of Warrensburg leaders) torpedo what could be beneficial cooperative efforts.

Here’s a couple of suggestions:

  • Let’s see a master county-wide event schedule, including the small town festivals in addition to CMSU and Warrensburg-based events. Holden’s festival was fun the last time I went over, but we need the schedule to plan ahead.
  • Let’s see Old Drum Days revived as a fun event that will draw people to downtown Warrensburg in early Fall (yes, the new work is pretty – but I still hate the parking!).
  • Let’s see some cooperation among civic groups when invited to participate in an event – sponsors need to plan and a “no” response is better than a “no response.”

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