Thursday, January 30, 2014

City of Grandview Showing Improvement

By Mary Wilson
The Grandview Chamber of Commerce and the City of Grandview hosted the annual State of the City luncheon on Thursday, January 23, at the View community center. In his first public appearance since being appointed, Grandview Mayor Leonard Jones addressed area business and community leaders.
Mayor Jones was first elected as Ward 1 Alderman on April 7, 1998. Currently, he serves on the Grandview Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and actively participates in many municipal
organizations. Mayor Jones has been a resident of Grandview for over forty years and graduated from Grandview High School. He served as a Supply Corps officer in the U.S. Naval Reserves and has been employed by Sprint for over 25 years. He and his wife, Michelle, have three daughters, two sons-in-law and three grandsons. Due to the recent resignation of former Mayor Steve Dennis, Mayor Jones was appointed on Tuesday, January 21, and will serve until the election on April 8.

“This has been a very difficult couple of weeks, and you all are aware of that,” Mayor Jones said. “But there are some good things that I want to really stand out. With all that has been going on, city staff has done an admirable job at being professional, making sure that work that needs to be done has been completed, and all the extra work that has been done with all the phone calls and emails.”

According to Mayor Jones, city staff has met every state-mandated deadline for records requests having to do with former Mayor Dennis. Mayor Jones publicly thanked city staff for going above
and beyond their call of duty and handling the situation with professional courtesy.

“As a resident and an alderman, we understand the stress that you’ve been under,” said Mayor Jones. “We really do appreciate it, so thank you very much.”

The Board of Aldermen, too, according to Mayor Jones, remained professional in their endeavors and in their communication.

“I’ve had residents email me and say they are so grateful that we never went negative,” said Mayor Jones. “We stayed positive and to-the-point. That’s a great testament to the Board of Aldermen that we have here. We have been honest, with the best integrity possible.”

Mayor Jones referred to the Board of Aldermen as family-like, and kept their tasks above the Board. He also said that despite the long road ahead, as a Board they are making good progress in the city.

“Grandview is moving forward,” said Mayor Jones. “Regardless of what happens, we’re on the right path to making good, good progress.”

City Administrator Cory Smith, before introducing each department head, gave an overview of accomplishments and strides the city made in 2013. He opened by saying after the start of 2014, the City of Grandview has a lot of good news to share.

“Whether football or basketball, I know many of you root for your favorite teams,” said Smith. “My question to you today is: how many of you are rooting for Grandview?”

According to Smith, the city has gradually improved infrastructure, public safety, parks and playgrounds, facilities, transportation access, communications and economic development processes.

“Those are all things that don’t just happen,” said Smith. “They take leadership and direction from our Mayor and Board of Aldermen.”

The elected leaders for the City of Grandview, Smith said, have been busy setting goals and planning the future of Grandview for many years now. He also spoke of Grandview’s experience with difficulties and challenges, including the closing of the air base, a regional mall, and the one-way frontage roads along I-49. Grandview city and community leaders are proactively targeting issues that hinder or diminish the possibility of economic development activity in the city.

“We’re not going to get down because of a little adversity at the moment,” said Smith. “We’re looking straight ahead, one success at a time.”

Smith also recognized the Grandview C-4 School District for their accomplishments over the last few years. He also stated that Grandview has the best Chamber of Commerce staff in the Midwest.
“The state of the city is improving every day,” said Smith. “We want to share the good news.”

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