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Chief's Monthly Message

Jan 07

[ARCHIVED] January 2016: Surprise in 2016

The original item was published from January 7, 2016 3:31 PM to September 21, 2018 9:25 AM

Pondering what’s in store for Derby in 2016 has been on my mind recently, mostly because the Derby Chamber of Commerce asked me to speak at its lunch meeting on January 14.

This “state of the city” update has become something of a tradition each January. Usually I highlight major city projects coming up (like parks and street construction), and Chamber members ask me about commercial development and the city’s future.

Boy, are they in for a surprise…

Next week, what if I turn the tables and ask them to prognosticate about Derby’s future? How would they answer questions like:

  • Will new housing developers consider Derby a good place to invest?
  • Will the Kansas Legislature’s new “tax lid law” keep Derby from hiring key personnel or buying needed police equipment?
  • Will city investments in the K-15 corridor, West End Business Park and Buckner Business District result in a thriving business community?
  • How will Derby schools fare in what feels like a never-ending state budget crisis?
  • Will a New Jersey-based dinosaur park expand to Derby?
  • Will the state fund and manage its hospital in Osawatomie to properly care for Derby residents with mental illnesses (or will Derby police have to wait for a crime to be committed and then take them to jail because they have so few options for treatment)?
These are exactly the questions on my mind. And if you’re like me, you hate it when you have more questions than answers. Well, I have a week until the Chamber meeting. Perhaps it’s time to get out the ol’ crystal ball to see if I can find some answers…

Published in the Jan. 6, 2016 Derby Informer.