Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes nailed it Wednesday.
Speaking at the Quarterly Investor Meeting of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, Barnes discussed the years of collaborative effort and forward thinking that went into revitalizing downtown Kansas City and opening the Sprint Center.
Like many communities, she noted the cynics, skeptics, doers and those that simply don’t care.
Lee’s Summit is, of course, no exception in housing these four groups.
As Barnes was speaking, I was picturing those in the community that fit in to the different areas. It wasn’t hard to do, either.
We know those cynical of every project, every time, for every reason they can imagine.
The skeptics and those that don’t care are sometimes just as aggravating, as they leave 80 percent of the work to 20 percent of the people.
But mainly, I was thinking about the doers. The people that say, “of course we can do this,” roll up their collective sleeves and get it done. Without thought and without negativity, they accomplish the tough tasks.
I thought about Brad Cox and Christine Bushyhead, the two community leaders that volunteered to take on the tall task of leading the pro-bond committee that’s been given a short amount of time to get a lot done.
I thought about those that have given decades to our community like John Graham, Ferrell Shuck, Bud Hertzog and J.C. Davis.
I thought about the businessmen in town, the people like Chip Moxley, Jon Ellis and others that have invested in Lee’s Summit, taken the risks and work for the rewards of that investment.
I thought about the small businesses around town, particularly in downtown Lee’s Summit. If these people aren’t doers, I don’t know who is.
We’ve had some past, and a few present, politicians we could call doers in Lee’s Summit.
And we certainly have a few doers at City Hall, City Manager Steve Arbo being first in that line.
My favorite part of Barnes’ talk at EDC, however, was when she took note of those naysayers and cynics that would later take credit for projects and ideas that they were disparaging and disapproving of in the first place.
Sound familiar? Can you say Summit Woods and Summit Fair?
History reminds us of who led those charges and who stayed behind on those economic drivers for our town.
And it also reminds us that while the cynics are practically lost causes, the skeptics and uninterested can be turned around by the passionate, risk-taking and forward thinking that have gotten things done in this town for many years.
John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lee’s Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail email@example.com.