Carson Ross has been an effective mayor in Blue Springs for four years and is worthy of a second term.



His opponent in Tuesday’s election, Michael Freeman, has articulated the frustration that some feel with City Hall, but he needs to more clearly lay out what he’s for and where he wants the city to be in five or 10 years...

Carson Ross has been an effective mayor in Blue Springs for four years and is worthy of a second term.

His opponent in Tuesday’s election, Michael Freeman, has articulated the frustration that some feel with City Hall, but he needs to more clearly lay out what he’s for and where he wants the city to be in five or 10 years rather than just harp on what he’s against.

Ross, on the other hand, has outlined that vision. The city is pressing ahead, slowly but steadily, on the proposed Missouri Innovation Park, perhaps the single project with the most potential to transform Eastern Jackson County’s economy with high-end companies and jobs in the life sciences industry.

The city also has finally closed a gap that’s been a frustration for residents for many years. There is now a nice selection of retailers and sit-down restaurants, many of them in the bustling Interstate 70/Adams Dairy Road area. That area sat with little more than green grass and potential for years until a couple of things happened. One is that the city reached a size that finally got it on the radar of major retailers and restaurants. The other – and just about every city plays the game – was the use of tax breaks and other incentives.

None of this is to the full credit or blame of any one mayor, but Ross has been a key part of pushing this along during his four years in office. Freeman says the city went too far. Where Ross sees progress, Freeman sees worry about the city’s level of debt. He hasn’t been entirely alone in that view, but the city has had a solid consensus to push ahead, and Ross is in the middle of that. It reflects the will of the community.

Ross has been criticized in some quarters for, in effect, running too tight a ship at City Hall. People aren’t given a chance to speak and be heard, the argument goes, and Freeman is quick to take up that point too. Elected officials often need to be reminded about the need for openness, transparency and a vigorous give and take. So if critics want to hurl that at Ross, fine, but Blue Springs at the moment probably has the most open debates – real debates – that it’s had for years.