Last week was a momentous week for our communities. It was one of those that come every once in a while when select public figures and events seem to conspire to lift the collective spirit of a community.
On Thursday last week, Gardner officially opened a new Justice Center that will house both the police department and the municipal courts. Residents were rightfully proud knowing they funded the facility through a ballot measure in 2017 and that their sacrifice will benefit their community for years to come.
Later that afternoon, local leaders and residents gathered for the opening of the new Hampton’s Inn which besides changing the city’s skyline will also contribute greatly to the city’s tax base. As Gardner mayor Steve Shute said, it was a game-changing day for Gardner.
Then came news that Edgerton, the little prairie town that could, would be featured on a national cable network program for the incredible development that is the LPKC.
In the CNBC program, Edgerton mayor Don Roberts talks about LPKC, calling it an oceanfront property in the middle of Kansas. He tells business correspondent Scott Cohn that the success of the logistics park is in part due to Edgerton’s proximity to most of the country. It sure was good to see Roberts on national TV representing Edgerton and the region.
And then late Friday came news of the appointment by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly of Cheryl Harrison-Lee, Gardner resident and former city administrator, to the state’s board of regents. Even though Cheryl’s ouster from the city’s top administrative post was couched in intrigue and cost the city $350,000, those who had observed her work could not question her competence or commitment to the community. It was a matter of time before someone recognized the value she brought to public service. We are glad her talents and incredible drive will be utilized for the benefit of our state.
Friday also marked the national stage debut of another local hero. Bubba Starling, a former two-sport hero at Gardner Edgerton High School made his Major League Baseball debut at Kauffman stadium and he not only drove the winning run but was credited with a surge in ticket sales for the game.
Starling came out of GEHS in 2011 as a highly decorated quarterback and baseball phenom who chose to sign with the Royals instead of taking up a football scholarship in Nebraska. He languished in the minors for years and it was incredibly gratifying for those in our community who knew how talented Bubba is to see him suit up for the hometown MLB team.
It was an incredible week of individual and collective achievement and we celebrate it.