Sunday, July 27, 2008
Short Week . . .
I was out of town this past week on what has become my annual pilgrimage to Iowa to participate in Ragbrai, the Des Moines Register sponsored bicycle ride across Iowa. The entire ride traverses the state from east to west and varies in distance from year to year. This year’s ride was about 450 miles. My friends and I peddled just over 200 miles of the route in two and one-half days. Wednesday’s weather was good. But Thursday’s was down right cold and rainy – with head winds averaging 15 to 20 miles – it was a slow 72 miles of riding. Friday’s weather was perfect. The cold front had swept through leaving a tail wind in its wake with slightly overcast skies that warmed riders and spirits as we rode through the beautiful countryside of eastern Iowa. But enough about me. The string of commentary in this week’s postings is interesting. A number of writers have found fault with how the city encourages the development of small businesses in Raytown. It is an interesting debate that should really turn on what is the best economic engine for a city like Raytown. I hope the discussion continues in the week ahead. From my point of view all one has to do is look back to when Raytown was thriving to see how strong a community can be when it has a diverse business section. Putting all of your eggs into one basket, as the city has done with Walmart, does not build a solid economic base. It is doubtful that Walmart will go away. But the city should work just as hard, if not harder, to build a strong economic picture through the development of small businesses. Though I was out of town for most of the week I was still able to attend the Annual Raytown Democratic Association Picnic this past Sunday. This year’s event attracted political leaders from across the area. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, candidates for state wide offices, and candidates from local State Representative races and the Sheriff’s race topped the agenda. In all, about 100 people came and went at the three hour event. There are nine days left before the August 5th Primary. Whether you decide to take a Democrat or Republican ballot, please take a little time to familiarize yourself with the candidates. Primary elections in Missouri are not high turnout events. This makes your vote more important than in most other races. So please mark your calendars to vote in the Primary Election on August 5th.