Are we on the right path?
Driving into work on Friday I saw the information sign in front of the hospital being taken down.
I reflected on what an effect this closure has had on our community.
In the past few weeks Iíve heard many tales of sadness, anger and fear.
Everyone is entitled to their feelings and each of us will have to experience the different stages of grief over this major loss.
The county is also now faced with the half-cent tax proposals for the building and operation of a new hospital.
This too has sparked a lot of discussion and questions.
Many in the area remember the sale of the hospital in the mid-eighties and have questions concerning that transaction.
These are valid questions and are in the process of being answered along with other frequently asked questions concerning the proposals and these will be published in an upcoming edition of the DDD.
I also witnessed the beginning of the property being cleared for the construction of the new Kennett Middle School this week.
An ending for the medical center and a beginning for the middle school.
The first step towards the future of Kennett, an investment in our children.
So weíre down to choices.
A famous movie quote states we either get busy living or get busy dying.
The literal around-the-clock efforts of our community leaders, businessmen, and doctors show that we are not lying down in defeat but pursuing the continuation of medical services and the building of a new hospital.
I did quite a bit of research on rural communities that had lost their hospitals.
Within two to five years they all had some sort of medical services in place for their town.
Some fared better than others, depending on what path they took.
What I discovered though was the fact that they were all still there.
These communities had not disappeared.
Their children were still going to school.
They were still attending their local churches, shopping at their grocery store and working.
They may have had a longer commute or had to change their particular career path, but lots of folks have reinvented themselves and went on to great success.
Itís about change and a clear, distinct vision for the future.
Itís about sound leadership and the ability to make good decisions for our community.
A great example of this is our City, Light, Gas, and Water company owned by our citizens and still serving our community for 75 years.
Our past city leaders had a vision for the future, but have we stayed true to that vision?
We need to check our track record for the past thirty or forty years and see if we have been on the right path.
If not, then itís time to get uncomfortable and make some changes and get busy living.
I would hope that the children who will be attending the new KMS will someday look back at this time in our history and say we made the right decisions concerning our community.
We cannot become stagnant. Change is difficult but with TRRMC closing, change has been thrust upon us.
We can survive this as those other communities have.
I would also like to honor all the fathers in our community this Fatherís Day.
I am blessed to still have my father with me.
A lot of folks around town know him very well, especially in the health field.
He is frequently seen around the area transporting fellow seniors to and from their medical appointments, wearing his customary red St. Louis Cardinals cap.
He is everybodyís uncle and they all love and call him Uncle Dean.
I have the privilege and honor of calling him Dad.
See you out there.