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Thursday, Sep. 29, 2016

August 21, 2011

Posted Tuesday, August 23, 2011, at 7:15 PM

Congratulations to Phillip Amos Santie. It took him an entire week to catch up to me, but he finally made it again. We are both now sixty-six years old. The question as always is, and I leave it to the public to answer, "Which of us is the prettiest?" I know Phillip is the best.

Wow! Have you seen the photographs which were installed on Malden's City Hall? I reached for my thesaurus because I want a lot of positive words meaning "praise." How about "approval"? I definitely approve. What about "applaud"? I say, "Three cheers!" Acclaim and congratulate? You betcha! Ovation? I think the people on the Malden Arts Commission who found the photographs, had them transferred to whatever they are now on, and then placed them on our city hall for all to see, deserve an ovation from their fellow citizens.

Look closely at the picture of the gas station. You can see the street number 201 on that gas station. Our City Hall now stands at that same location, 201 S. Madison Street. I believe the gentleman in the picture is Tom Downing's grandfather, or so I have been told.

How about the picture of the posse organized to chase a murderer around the turn of the 20th Century? Tough looking crowd but they had their crime dog with them, and I am told that he was known as "Rock." We could use "Rock" today to run down a few vandals frequenting our city parks.

If you can't take pride and get excited about those photographs, then I don't know what it takes to move you. We are here today and living in this small community because of the people in those pictures. Honor our ancestors.

Did I mention the very large photograph on the side of the Malden Board of Public Works Quonset hut? Again, wow! Malden began as a railroad town, and that picture shows "high iron, steel, and steam" at its greatest and coming into Malden. My father told me he walked to Malden in the 1920's to go to the movies. He didn't know about the "talkies." He entered the theater just as a steam engine came across the screen with its whistle blowing. He told me that he turned around and ran from the theater because he thought a Cotton Belt engine had "jumped the tracks." When you see that photograph and the others, say "Thank you" to those who have made our town look great.

We had our regular city council meeting last Monday evening. We passed an ordinance to place a 1/4% sales tax on the November ballot. The sales tax is to provide additional funding for the fire department. The money is needed. If you have questions, please ask me. The people of Malden will have the opportunity to vote for or against the proposal in November.

A gentleman spoke during the public comment portion of our council meeting. He had questions about the utility bills of some of his relatives. His questions were astute and relevant to our town's public utility situation. I hope he received a satisfactory answer when he met with our city administrator the day following our council meeting. "Satisfactory" may mean that he understood the rate structure, but he might not have been happy with it. The Malden Board of Public Works meets the fourth Tuesday of each month. If you have questions please attend and demand an answer. The utility system is owned by the people of Malden. Our rates are driven by the same market forces that drive Ameren UE, an investor owned utility, except that they are constantly on their knees in front of the Missouri Public Service Commission asking for a rate increase. The largest single percentage increase that Malden ever received was in 1985 when Ameren increased our wholesale rate 56% because their nuclear generating plant went on line. Check the record to see how many rate increases Ameren has received. Ozark Border is a rural electrical cooperative and does a fine job, but in their last newsletter they announced a 12% increase. Malden is in a battle to stay competitive and remain independent. Knowledge is power, if you will pardon the pun, and I ask you to keep yourself informed about how the system we own and operate functions.

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