The term progress, according to Wikipedia, refers to the “idea that the world can become increasingly better” so that can be a pretty broad range of issues. On a local level, I think we can generally agree that a few of those key areas that we are all concerned about include health, safety, food, shelter, family, and the ability to financially thrive to provide quality of life.

The term progress, according to Wikipedia, refers to the “idea that the world can become increasingly better” so that can be a pretty broad range of issues. On a local level, I think we can generally agree that a few of those key areas that we are all concerned about include health, safety, food, shelter, family, and the ability to financially thrive to provide quality of life.
2009 was a challenging year for everyone. Businesses, families and individuals dealt with economic issues that have not been seen in many generations. Through all of this, the resilient spirit of our community has shone through, and we have indeed seen progress that sometimes we take for granted.
The first phase of the Little Blue Parkway was opened up in the valley, the new Independence Events Center opened to provide new entertainment options, our schools continue to be recognized for their excellence, and while new jobs have been in short supply, we’ve been able to avoid total closures or major layoffs by any of our major core employers and are celebrating several local businesses who expanded their operations in Independence during the past year.
2010 has its share of opportunities and Independence will continue to show progress toward our long-term goals and objectives. The effort related to 12 Blocks West will be a joint project involving numerous groups who will bring their expertise to focus on western Independence and improve the quality of life in that area of our city.
We will open the new Independence Regional Ennovation Center at the former hospital site on Truman Road and bring that building back to life with a facility that will convert from birthing babies to helping birth new businesses.
We will continue to work on developing a new business park that will help local businesses by providing a location for their expansion as well as give us a tool we can market to new industry that are looking in the metro for new growth opportunities.
The adage that “there is no such thing as standing still, you are either moving forward or going backward” is very true. While no one knows what the future holds, Independence leaders, businesses and residents have been actively involved in the visioning process and it is that vision that helps us navigate as Independence continues to move forward in many positive ways.