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This is the letter that the Independence Reporter refused to publish:

Dear Editor,

On Tuesday, February 27th, Independence residents will be asked to choose from 9 candidates to narrow the City Commission race to 4 in the general election in April.

One of those 9 candidates trying for one of those 2 vacant seats on the City Commission is Charley Hixon.

Charley was the first to file for the current commission race, because he recognized a need for a change in our city government, and with 8 other people filing to run as well, it only seems to confirm that he was right, we do need a change.

Since filing for Commissioner, Charley has taken a lot of phone calls from people in the community on a variety of issues, some of those include concerns over the waste water treatment plant, and the inability to collect the sales tax to pay for the construction, others are from several residents that are dissatisfied with the City Manager, and others from people that are concerned that if something is not done to change the zoning ordinance for new businesses that want to locate on West Main, future development and economic growth in Independence will suffer tremendously.

As to the waste water treatment plant, Charley has said that he feels that if the proposition that was submitted to the voters to collect the sales tax to pay for its construction was properly prepared to start with, then we wouldn’t be faced with the dilemma we have now, he said that although he cant erase past mistakes, he will do his best to make sure that those mistakes aren’t repeated in the future.

As to the City Manager, Charley has not been satisfied with his performance for a number of years, one point Charley makes concerning the City Manager is, and what some people do not understand is, the City Commission does not have the authority to conduct the day to day operations of the city government, by state statute, that is the duty of the City Manager, the City Commission can however set policy for the City Manager to follow, Charley feels that there needs to be changes made in the way that City Hall needs to be more accessible to its residents , and more willing to assist with the needs of its citizens on a more individual basis. If this doesn’t happen, Charley has not ruled out proposing that the city search for a City Manager that will be more “citizen friendly”.

As to the zoning on West Main, Charley feels that making it next to impossible for new business to locate on West Main by placing harsh restrictions, solely for the purpose of protecting downtown businesses is not the answer, he feels that all businesses are important to the economic structure of our city, and that downtown is only a part of that structure, he has said that the more businesses that are allowed to locate in Independence, the better the selection, and that common sense says that the more business variety that we have here, residents will not feel the need to travel to Tulsa, Joplin, or Bartlesville to find the products that they are looking for, and that everyone benefits when its residents shop at home.

You may be asking yourselves how do we know what Charley feels, and what he stands for? The answer is simple, Charley is our Dad, and we know him better than anyone, and know that he is sincere, and will work hard to make Independence a better place to work, raise their families, and to make it a proud place to call “home”.

If you are happy with the way the city government functions, don’t vote for our Dad, If you are dissatisfied with our city government in its current state, and want it to get better, then we strongly suggest that you vote for our Dad, Charley Hixon, for City Commission, a vote for our Dad, is a vote for a positive change for everyone.

Sincerely, Heather & Ryan Hixon

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