I would like to compliment Mayor Ross and City Council Members Lauer, Edmondson and Reed on their continued support of positive progress in our city. It is encouraging to see that a majority of our elected leaders have a vision for our future and are working together to help overcome the challenges that the current economic situation entails. Many people have worked diligently for years to improve all areas of our city, and I am excited and optimistic about the future of Blue Springs.

Development of new restaurant opportunities continues to move forward. The Planning Commission reviewed and recommended approval of the site plan design for the new Panera Bread that will open soon in Coronado Place. RED Development continues to move forward with the Adams Dairy Landing development, bringing minor changes to the restaurant/retail section of its development between Interstate 70 and Coronado Drive to the commission for approval.

Other restaurants that have recently opened in Blue Springs include Harley HotRods Bar & Grill on north Missouri 7, Colorado Pete’s BBQ on U.S. 40 and Miyabi Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar in the Mall at Fall Creek. I recently spoke with the owner of Side Pockets, and he expressed excitement that the Mall at Fall Creek is now fully leased, with the addition of Club 7 Fitness in the final anchor location in the Mall.

With so much happening in our city we should all be encouraged that perhaps the worst of the recession will pass by us. That is not to say that there won’t be challenges, but by pulling together and continuing to patronize our area businesses, we can weather the storm and find ways to prosper. I believe our city is facing a much brighter financial picture than most municipalities in our country.

My wife Wanda and I are hosting a community “All You Can Eat” pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 14 to celebrate progress in our community and raise funds to support the www.AboutBlueSprings.com Web site. The Steamin’ Bean has graciously agreed to allow us to have the breakfast in their coffee shop. I hope you will come join us and bring your neighbors for a festive celebration of all that is good in Blue Springs! Tickets are $6 at the door and $5 in advance. Check the Web site for details about advance ticket purchases.