A New Day

As it relates to those of us in St. Joseph and Buchanan County, January will mark a new day in Jefferson City. That will be the day that a completely new legislative delegation from our area takes office. This is the first time this has happened in my memory and in part has been brought about as a result of term limits.

While I am somewhat disappointed that our new State Senator will not be recognized on the Senate floor as the senator from Buchanan County, I do believe Sen.-Elect Tony Luetkemeyer will work hard to stay engaged in Buchanan County and will do an excellent job of representing all of his constituents.

On the Missouri House of Representatives side, we have three dedicated individuals to represent our area. Bill Falkner served most recently as St. Joseph’s mayor and will bring knowledge of local government and experience as both mayor and local businessman. Sheila Solon, while somewhat new to our community, has excellent experience having served as a legislator previously. She will hit the ground running. Brenda Shields is our third legislator representing Southern Buchanan County. Most of us know Brenda and her husband Charlie well. Brenda has a long history of serving St. Joseph as the United Way executive, a high school teacher and from serving on numerous community boards. She will bring a proactive community perspective and commitment few can.

I believe we are fortunate to have these individuals representing us in Jefferson City. They are interested, engaged and dedicated to making our community and state a better place for all of us. Their job will not be an easy one though. Missouri faces challenges including struggling state revenues, inadequate transportation, infrastructure and misuse of prescription drugs. They will look to you to provide input, offer ideas and advice and express your concern. You can do this by calling or e-mailing their offices in Jefferson City. They will welcome hearing from you.

Yes, it will be a new day for our legislative delegation, but one full of hope and vision for a better St. Joseph and a better Missouri. We should all support that.

R. Patt Lilly
President & CEO
St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce