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.