This may be a long one...
One year ago, you elected me to be your Mayor. I ran to do my part in improving the quality of life here, and boy, that seems to mean something different today. Lately, I’ve mentioned more than once, “All I wanted was a grocery store and I got a pandemic!”
Well, God gives to us what He believes we can handle and I’m going to have to have a talk with Him about that.
Seriously, I have been honored to serve you and I think of you every day and the awesome responsibility it is to be your representative at the table of City governance. Before this virus came into the world and moved into our city, your Council and I have been working together to get things done and we’ve been on a path of short, mid, and long-term goals. Some accomplishments are (and a few of these began before I came into office): College Sidewalk, Marshall Dog Park, establishment of a tax-increment financing commission to aid in retail development, further progress on the Old Hospital redevelopment, Hab Center development including working with the schools for a new primary building, cleaning up and maintenance of the Hab Center Lake, continued balancing of the budget, and progress on enforcing property maintenance and nuisance ordinances.
We will still be working on our goals, and now at the top of the list for me is our city’s survival of Covid-19. I’ve been listing stats recently and tonight I’d like to give some for perspective.
According to the U.S. Census website, in 2019, the United States population was estimated at 328,239,523; Missouri’s at 6,137,428; Saline County’s at 22,761; and Marshall’s is roughly 13,000.
The CDC’s number for positive Covid-19 is 213,144 with a 98% being treated/recovered rate to date; Missouri has 1,836 cases with a 99% being treated/recovered rate. There have been 4,513 Covid-19 related deaths nationally and 21 in Missouri.
According to the CDC, in 2017, the top four leading causes of death in Missouri were Heart Disease (14,820), Cancer (12,971), Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease (3,940), and Accidents (3,776).
This is not to minimize the threat of Covid-19 and its sometimes horrible consequences. I believe in the Guidelines and follow them and you absolutely should, too!!! Every life matters every day.
However, I am as deeply concerned as some about the cure being worse than the illness. I’ve been accused of “only cares about the money.” Well, it’s not the only thing, but you’re darn right I care about the money! I care about the money lost for so many who’ve had to close their businesses such as salons and daycares because there aren’t mitigation steps they can take. I care about the money lost by restaurant owners and staff who’ve had to close their doors to the public. I care about the money lost by retail businesses who may still have open doors but the significant drop in customer traffic may not even pay monthly bills. I care about the money lost by schools such as Missouri Valley College who’ve had their spring sport seasons cancelled. These are just some of the ways that I very much do care about the money!
What will this do to our economy? How many jobs may be lost? How many businesses won’t survive? What is our tax base going to look like over the next many months? How will that affect city services?
Last year at this time I could not have imagined that I would be facing these questions. But here we are, and these are the things that I’ll be working on with the City Council as I continue to serve you.
So, I ask you to please help us by doing your part so that we can get closer and closer to getting back to quality of life and the goodness it brings.
Your Mayor ❤️🖤🇺🇸