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Peppy Promenaders Square Dance Club presents
a check of $1,000 to Cindy Ireland (left), director
of the Grand River Multipurpose Center,
to go toward the center's fund-raising campaign.

By Mayor Chuck Haney

APRIL 2017

Over the past four or five years, the City of Chillicothe and some of its facilities have won numerous state, regional, and national awards. Recognition of a job well done and done right has gone to the new Hedrick Medical Center, the Chilli Bay Water Park, the parks department, police department, and fire department. However, just recently, perhaps the most prestigious one came with the announcement that Lt. Tracy Bradley of the Chillicothe Fire Department and Emergency Services had been named runner-up as the American Legion's National Firefighter of the Year. The award followed an earlier announcement that the 19-year veteran of the Chillicothe Fire department had earned the American Legion Firefighter of the Year award for a 10-state region.

Last summer, Mrs. Bradley went to Kansas City to the Missouri American Legion state convention to receive the American Legion's State award. That same day last summer, she returned to Chillicothe along with other local and area American legion officials and made an appearance at a Chillicothe Mudcat's baseball game at Shaffer Park. She was accompanied by Larry Warren of Chillicothe, a local and district Legion official, and was introduced to the baseball crowd where she received a big welcome and made a few remarks. In a recent interview with Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune News Editor Catherine Stortz Ripley, Mrs. Bradley said she was humbled by the honor and was quick to give credit to her department and those who work beside her. She also said that receiving the national runner-up honor is a credit not only to her but to the entire department and everyone with whom she works.

Fire Chief and Director of the Department of Emergency Services Darrell Wright and Past Legion Commander put together the information to nominate Bradley for the state award. In speaking with Fire Chief Wright, he told me that Tracy is a good solid person who knows her job duties and does them well. "I truly believe Tracy wants the awards she won to be known as team awards, not just an award for her," Wright stated. "I know in working with her that she looks at this department as a team, and this is not all about her."

Personally, I have known Tracy since she was been on the department back when the late Chief Joe Rinehart hired her; and I don't think anyone she has served with or is working with doesn't believe she was an excellent hire proving her worth many times. The graduate of Braymer High School began her duty with the department as an EMT and later was promoted to Firefighter/EMT and then Engineer/EMT and now serves as a Lieutenant/EMT. In an email sent last week by City Administrator Ike Holland to the Mayor and members of the city council, Chief Wright, Assistant Chief Kevin Hoskins, and Assistant Chief Eric Reeter, he had this to say about Bradley being recognized for the National award: "Tracy, congrats on the runner-up recognition for the American Legion National Firefighter of the Year Award. You and your department are to be commended for this highest of award. You have proved to the nation of your excellence and commitment to your profession. I congratulate you and thank you for your service to the city and to the greater community."

As mayor, and speaking for members of the city council, we echo those comments and thank Mrs. Bradley for outstanding service and the national attention she brought to the City of Chillicothe. A special thanks to Chief Wright, Larry Warren, and other District and State Legion officials for their work in making this award possible.

Congratulations are also in order for Jeff Gillespie. It was announced last week that Gillespie, a 16-year veteran of the street department, had been promoted to Assistant Street Commissioner. The recommendation was made by Street Commissioner Barry Arthur and City Administrator Ike Holland and was approved unanimously by the council. The assistant position had been vacant for a year since the retirement by Leroy Snidow.

Gillespie, who had been serving as foreman with the department for the past eight years, was recognized this past year by the City as its Employee of the Year.

The City of Chillicothe also has a new Administrative Assistant to the City Clerk, Mayor, and City Administrator following the city council's unanimous approval of Heather Gates. Ms. Gates will begin her duties at city hall next week. She replaces Tammy Midgyett who resigned recently to accept a position working for Director Barb Burton with the PATCH program at the Chillicothe Correctional Center.

Another part of all the good news for this column is that the Chillicothe City Council unanimously approved the city's 2017-18 budget which went into effect at midnight, March 31, 2017. The budget of $13, 875,381 in estimated revenue had estimated expenses of $13,769,974.

Normally, I keep this column tied to city information, but because of the importance of two time related events and a breaking announcement received from the Freedom Festival, I am including them in this Mayor's column. The Chillicothe Freedom Festival Committee has an immediate need of a new director for the 2017 Festival and fireworks display in Chillicothe. Scott Rule, the Chairman of the festival the past two years, will be unable to participate this year, and the committee needs new leadership. If you love the 4th of July, summer, food, live music, face painting, and a fabulous professional fireworks display, please contact Scott Rule at Community Press, Inc., at 660-646-2360 or Mayor Chuck Haney at 660-973-6296. Time is very short; and we need to move quickly. There are members of the committee that will assist the new chairperson so let's not lose our great fireworks' display and Freedom Festival.

The Grand River Historical Society museum will hold their quarterly meeting open to the public on, Tuesday, April 11, at the Elks Lodge in Chillicothe at 6:30 p.m. beginning with Jeff Frampton's famous pork lion diner. The program will be presented by Doug Doughty and Charlie Peniston on the Nineteen Day Mormon War from 1838. Cost for the dinner and program is $10, and a big turnout is expected. Please call the Museum at 660-646-1341 or Ron Wilder at 660-646-0502 for reservations.

Our Cultural Corner has announced that Dave Walker and Hannah Smith (father & daughter) will be exhibiting "fabricscapes" painting and pottery during an exhibit set to open on Tuesday, April 4, continuing until April 29. The new Cultural Corner is located at 424 Locust and is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Enjoy your city!

I have already told you more than I know.

Mayor Haney's "Around Our Town" column is available in the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune newspaper the first week of each month. His additional columns, "On the Street", are also available in the newspaper weekly.

Mayor Haney on Ingram's list of 50 Missourians You Should Know (March 27, 2013)

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