This past weekend members of Marshall and Saline County's Civil Air Patrol 117 Composite Squadron hosted a disaster relief exercise. This proved to be both instructive and useful. Congratulations to the squadron! To read more on this story, go to:
Military Impact and Sustainability Committee
The Interim Committee on Missouri Military Impact and Sustainability held its second meeting on Monday, August 18 at the Hampton Inn in St. Roberts, near Fort Leonard Wood. Representative Steven Lynch did a great job in lining up community members to pass on information about the fort and its integration into the community.
Included among the many witnesses were local government officials from around Pulaski Country, school district officials from around the county, various business owners and those involved with business. These witnesses provided some areas of information that need considerable thought from our state government. Among the most pressing are:
-- What is the economic impact of military spending in our area?
-- What tangible actions can we as a state take to support and improve our nation's military mission?
-- What residual benefits does the state of Missouri receive from the military presence in our state (these are important and numerous)?
These important questions will continue to be the focus of our committee during our last hearing. This will be conducted in Warrensburg Tuesday, Sept. 23, from noon to 3 p.m. at the University Central Missouri in Elliott Union, Room 235. If you would like to add testimony to this committee concerning the impact of our military presence in Missouri, or your experience with the Veterans Health Administration, please contact me by email or at the telephone number listed above. These are very important meetings for the future of our state and nation. We will have three hours of testimony available beginning at noon, so please let me know if you have something you would like to contribute. We welcome the opportunity to hear from you!
The tragedy surrounding Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the resulting publicity has caused many of us to pause and reflect on a few things. I have a strong belief, and even faith, in the rule of law. Allowing due process to work, believing in innocence until guilt is proven, and accepting the findings of a fair trial are all important to having an impartial judicial system. With this in mind, let's take a look at what we know:
-- Whatever happened that sparked the incident between Michael Brown and the police of Ferguson, it ended in a tragic death.
-- Fact finding to gather all the evidence takes time and patience.
-- There are outside forces agitating the situation in Ferguson. According to news sources, many of the arrests have been from out-of-state visitors.
-- The true local residents have shown a willingness to express their concerns and support peacefully and have even pitched in to clean up after the demonstrations and riots.
Now with that said, we need to make certain that the facts are gathered, we learn the truth, and we take action accordingly. House Speaker Tim Jones has called for a special prosecutor in this case to insure that we reach these goals. This would be a good step and would be a positive development for our legal system and the citizens of Ferguson as well as the rest of our state.
The governor's statement that we should pursue a "vigorous prosecution" of the officer involved gave me great pause for concern. However, Wednesday evening the demonstrations became much more settled and calm: this type of conduct should allow time for the legal process to be fully implemented and completed in a fair manner that will uncover the truth and allow justice for all involved.
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City and Missouri. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.