Close Window
Print Window

Sliced Bread Saturday was held August 5 in
downtown Chillicothe with a variety of activities.
CT Photos/Jaime Saucedo

By Mayor Chuck Haney



One of the pleasures of the position of Mayor of this great City of Chillicothe is having the opportunity to work with the best and most dedicated department heads and the best and most dedicated employees (all 72 of them).

I have been blessed to have had the opportunity as a media person representing our local news publications, local and area radio stations, and multiple shoppers (free distribution publications) to view the work from the outside as well as the inside. In the past 15 years since being elected to the city council, I learned even more about our city and its employees by being closer to all that was happening on a daily basis.

I say all of this as your mayor because I see first-hand the praise, compliments, letters to the editors, emails, and personal telephone calls and visits and how our community and the many visitors who pass through our city or do business here feel about the folks who serve them in the way of public service.

Just in the past 10 days another major award came the way of the Chillicothe Fire Department and Department of Emergency Services when Chief Darrell Wright earned the Community Services Administrator of the Year Award. The award was presented by the Missouri Emergency Medical Services Association Convention in Branson at its annual convention. Fire Chief Wright received a binder with some 14 letters of support written by fire department staff, city representatives, and civic, school, hospital and community leaders on why he should receive the MRMSA Administrator of the Year award as well as his summarizing his impact on the community.

It was pointed out that he was the driving force in getting the LifeFlight Eagle Air Ambulance to relocate its home base to the Chillicothe Municipal Airport. The $1 million state of the art project with a new hanger and living quarters is expected to be completed in August. Wright also led the campaign to build a new fire training center in the southwest part of our city and expanded personnel for the fire/ambulance department.

The fire department is highly involved in the community, working hand-in-hand with Hedrick Medical Center on training with dual instructors from both facilities in ACLS and PALS programs. They also work closely with the EMS programs at the Grand River Technical School.
The department has a big presence in the Partners in Education program community blood donations, Boy and Girl Scout programs, Fire Prevention Week, EAA Fly-In Day, Chautauqua in the Park, Storm Spotter classes, Freedom Festival, Brest Cancer Awareness, Water Rescue, and Community Smoke Detector Installation. Chief Wright also led the remodeling and building addition for the current fire-ambulance department that provides fire service for the city and rural fire district as well as ambulance service. There are 26 employees - most cross-trained for fire and ambulance duty - as well as paid-by-call employees.

Wright's employees and assistants speak highly of his leadership and the cooperative effort of the department. His leadership and community involvement over the past years truly has been a huge asset for Chillicothe and Livingston County. As those letters of support stated, the writers could not imagine anyone more deserving, more dedicated to his community, and a more positive role model than Chief Wright.

In the past month (July), we also learned that we were blessed with a Chillicothe Firefighter/EMT who was recognized the Midwest Region's Firefighter of the Year by the Missouri American Legion along with its Auxiliary Legion Riders & Sons of the American Legion divisions in a joint session of its convention. Another great part of this announcement was delivered by a past state Commander who now represents Missouri at the National American Legion when he stated that in his 20 years Missouri had never had anyone win at the Regional level and that it was a "first" for the state of Missouri. We are speaking about Chillicothe Fire Department veteran firefighter Lt. Tracy Bradley. During her remarks, Mrs. Bradley expressed appreciation to the local Vern R. Glick American Legion Post 25 and Fire Chief Darrell Wright for nominating her for the honor; but most of all she thanked "the guys at the firehouse for all the support they had given her during her career."

Our congratulations to Chief Darrell Wright and Lt. Tracy Bradley on their recent honors and accomplishments.

Speaking of long-term service and longtime leadership of a city department, we want to mention the recent retirement announced by Chief of Police Rick Knouse. He has served the city in that department for 40 years. His retirement becomes effective September 29, 2017. A search for a new police chief is currently underway.

Knouse served as a reserve officer for four years and has worked fulltime with the department for the past 36 years, including the past 17 as chief. In his letter to the Mayor and Council, Chief Knouse said he had enjoyed being a police officer for the city, but he has reached a time where he needs to enjoy life and be with his family. "I am leaving the city with highly-trained staff and a great police department. They will serve you well and I am proud of them."

We continue to hear excellent comments on the new Danner Park Walking Trail overlay and the excellent work done by Tandem Paving Company, the parks department, and street department in their combined effort for the new walk-ways to the ball fields from the parking lot and the new trail that encompasses Danner Park.

Please pay attention to the news releases from the city street department in regard to milling work and paving and installation of curbing currently underway.

The city held its annual summer fun day and picnic at the Chilli Bay Water Park. More than 100 city employees and their families enjoyed a free day of swimming and fun at the water park on July 29. There was a catered picnic and outdoor BBQ at the water park for the employees and for the lifeguards and pool staff by Hy-Vee. Prizes were drawn for paid vacation days, Royals' items, and other gifts, as well as the grand prize, a family season pass to Chilli Bay Water Park. Special thanks to Administrative Assistant Heather Gates, Assistant Auditor Shannon Jones, and Codes Officer Tammi Venneman, as well as Water Park Manager Janice Shaffer and her staff for a great evening.

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)

Return to Top

Close Window
Print Window