Having U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran address a gathering of local business leaders Saturday night was a big thing.
No, he didn’t come armed with any big announcements, awards or prizes.
Nor did he come to toot his own horn.
If anything, he reminded the gathering that there’s little he can do as a U.S. senator to help Iola and the surrounding communities move successfully into the future. But that’s as it should be.
Local leadership is what makes or breaks a community.
Of course Moran’s downplaying his significance in local efforts is not quite on the mark. As a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Moran has crucial connections with the VA network that can help expand services in our area. His position as a ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services means he has a responsibility to see our hospitals remain funded and that medical research is a priority.
And as a former member of the House Agriculture Committee, when he served as a congressman from the 1st District, Moran continues to rally for agriculture and to expand its trade.
SO YES, the success of Iola is up to us. But no, we are not an island unto ourselves and creating and building relationships with our elected officials and others helps pave the way to opportunities we could not realize otherwise.
Which is why it was a big deal for Sen. Moran to address the gathering Saturday night.
Iola is on his radar.
And it’s incumbent on us to make sure we stay there as a repeating blip and not fade into oblivion.
The squeaky wheel adage never rang more true.
— Susan Lynn