By:  Ernie Wren

I am going to start this week off with a couple of quotes that have guided me throughout my years of volunteering. I belong to the Ashland Optimists.  Two parts of the Optimist Creed include “To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others” and “To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future”. Why is this important this week? Because there has been a bit of negativity going around the community regarding the efforts to provide Southern Boone with an annual fireworks show. Dorise Slinker, who was then an alderman and is now Mayor, brought the first fireworks show without the use of taxpayer funds to the city last year. For the second year in a row, he has worked hard to provide the community with yet another show by lining up sponsors and volunteers.  One council member has referred to this event as the “Mayor’s Pet Project” which I prefer to think of as the community’s project. We have heard the residents calling for a fireworks show for over 25 years, and now it is becoming an annual tradition.

This council representative said that she voted against it due to the application process not being followed properly (such as timeframes, etc.). On this point, she is accurate, and it is something that needs to be considered for future years. City Administrator Kyle Michel, in a letter to the council, pointed out that the original plan to host it at Lakeside Ashland was cancelled due to the development not being on schedule, forcing Mayor Slinker to “pivot” and work with area businesses to make it happen without cost to the taxpayers. Unfortunately, “stuff” happens in life, and flexibility is sometimes called for. This is an opportunity to look at bringing in others to support it in the future, such as the Park Board, or a “Friends of the Parks” committee.  Such a committee has yet to be fully established, but exists as a 501(c)3 organization capable of collaborating with donors/sponsors (as I understand it). As to the postponed fireworks show, efforts are being made to secure a new date and time with more information to be forthcoming.

See more in this weeks Boone County Journal