Monday, October 13, 2014

Dear Citizens of Garnett, KS... Thank you,

Thank you. You have given me the privilege of serving in the greatest community in the nation. I am regularly humbled by the sheer magnitude of activities that must occur daily to keep this community running. It is truly a diverse business model with five separate utilities (electric, sewer, trash, water and gas) in addition to departments such as fire, police, parks and recreation. Beyond that we have an amazing public library that is the cultural center of our city and a housing authority that provides vital accommodations for our aging population. We have resources working every day to enhance our thriving economic development, tourism and community development efforts.

Over the past two and a half years, first as a City Commissioner and now Mayor, I have pulled back the curtain and seen this community from an angle that previously eluded me. I have admired the work of employees and volunteers alike as they toiled to ignite new flames of progress. I have witnessed the birth of a five year capital improvement plan and fumed over unfunded state mandates. Ultimately, I have developed a profound respect for those who have taken their turn in this position throughout our community’s illustrious history.

I want to thank the employees, volunteers, organizers and event coordinators who have really stepped up to enhance Garnett for us, our children and future generations. It has been more than a few events, activities and initiatives that have placed us on this precipice of change. In fact I would name it a genuine community improvement movement. While the efforts began years ago it has been in recent years that the momentum has really become evident.

I offer the following recognition not as an attempt at an exhaustive list rather it is a sampling to provide a sense of the true magnitude of the progress made by and for each of us: Corn Stock’s Concert on the Hill, return of the carnival at the Anderson County fair, junior tackle football league, Garnett Area Paint Project, expansion of the neighborhood revitalization program, a community recreational facility, a new elementary school, a new hospital, and of course multiple industrial businesses expanding and bringing new jobs to our community. Do not overlook the combined efforts of our Economic Development groups, city employees and several arts related organizations which have been combined to acquire a cultural improvement grant to enhance our already impressive arts community. To top it all off our history is returning to us with the all new Lake Garnett Grand Prix Revival (

Be certain I could have filled many paragraphs with the efforts of those whose chose to serve us, the community of Garnett. Now I must ask you the reader; do you see what I see? How are you helping to fuel these flames of progress? What’s next for you? Will you run for public office or volunteer to help at the next community event? Will you lead from the front or assist in your own way?

Preston W. Peine
Mayor of Garnett, KS
This article originally appeared in the Town Talk - Fall 2014.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

T.A.G. You're it!

Let’s play T.A.G. in 2014. Find the TENACITY to stay focused on what you want. Have the AUDACITY to strive for something just a little bigger than you thought possible. Show the GUMPTION necessary to get off the couch and take action. T.A.G. you’re it!

TAG You're It! by Preston Peine

A letter to my fellow citizens of Garnett, KS...

We the people of this humble community have collectively witnessed and participated in many exciting undertakings throughout 2013. From the activities that consume our free time to the events that strengthen our local economy we are left with many positive memories of the past year. Looking to 2014 it is up to each of us to choose to participate in the actions required to strengthen our fair city.

Many of the simple joys in life are what truly bind us together. We came together for events such as the local Easter Egg Hunt, Independence Day celebration, county fair, Cornfest, Art Walk, Christmas Parade, theatre performances, birthday parties, backyard barbeques and a plethora of other events. These events are integral to the relationships we form with our friends and family. In turn, they strengthen our community as a whole.

We the people can be proud of positive progress in education, business, government and community. In the past year public school enrollment increased and Neosho County Community College opened a technical center in Garnett. On the business front the East Kansas AgriEnergy ethanol plant restarted production, Rickerson Pipe Lining began a substantial expansion, Hurricane Services built a new facility to begin operations and multiple new businesses arrived on the square. Anderson County has started construction on a brand new hospital which is certain to add to the beauty of our already attractive town. The one event that sticks out in my mind as having really epitomized the wonder of our small community is the Garnett Area Paint Project. These and so many other items truly mark the strength and progress of Garnett and all of Anderson County.

What will 2014 bring for you, for me, for our friends and neighbors? No one knows for certain. What I do know is that each of the memories I listed from 2013 required the bold actions of average citizens. What bold action will you take to create positive change for your family? How can you be the change you want to see in the community? How will the lives of others be enriched by your actions?

Let’s play T.A.G. in 2014. Find the TENACITY to stay focused on what you want. Have the AUDACITY to strive for something just a little bigger than you thought possible. Show the GUMPTION necessary to get off the couch and take action. T.A.G. you’re it!

This article originally appeared in the Town Talk - Winter 2014.