A city on a hill cannot be hidden
Chairman's Message - December 2014
Published: Tuesday, December 9, 2014
By: Bob Gilbert, Bartlett and West - 2014 Chamber Chair
This familiar phrase has been on my mind this year frequently. I think of the skyline of Jefferson City, the beautiful topography of our region, and those who have gone before us and decided this would be an ideal place for the seat of government for our great state. I think they made a good choice. From nearly every direction you enter our community, the views are wonderful. It is impossible to “hide” our community because of its placement on the hills along the Missouri River.
The phrase that is the title of this article is from the fifth chapter of the book of Matthew in scripture. Its context is not about city-building; it is a metaphor about how we are called to be light in a dark world. A beacon for those around us. We are told not to light our lamp and put it under a bowl, but to let it shine! It is my observation and opinion after having lived in several communities and two states, that Jefferson City is one of the most humble and self-effacing places in the country. We are sometimes reluctant to “toot our own horn” or be proud of our accomplishments. This speaks highly of our character as individuals, but is challenging as it relates to promoting our community to others. Let’s move into 2015 and be the beacon we are called to be and share the great things about our community!
As I near the end of my term as Chairman of the Board of the Chamber, I am reminded of the great things this community has to offer its citizens and visitors. We have much to be thankful for and celebrate. We have several projects ongoing or recently completed that have improved or will improve our community for generations to come. These projects have also changed our skyline and helped to remind me more about how our “city on a hill” cannot be hidden. I am speaking of the major investments in healthcare in our community – the recent opening of SSM Health St. Mary’s and Capital Region’s expansion. I’m speaking of investments in infrastructure, such as the new elevated water storage on Hwy 179 north and south of Highway 50, or the sanitary sewer upgrades made this year. I am also speaking about the new Lafayette Interchange that just started construction. It will provide a new transportation connection to Downtown Jefferson City, the historic Missouri State Penitentiary, Lincoln University, and Jefferson City High School, among other destinations. The interchange will also include enhancements to the bridge structures and signage that will help visitors to our community feel the sense of community pride and civic identity that makes us uniquely Jefferson City. These projects indicate the investments we are making in our community to make it stronger.
The Chamber has been a leader on some of these projects, and many more. We will continue our work to facilitate investments in our businesses, infrastructure, and community. Our Chamber is fortunate to have good leadership transitioning into roles on our board, and I wish Gregg Bexten with Hawthorn Bank all the best in his year as Chairman of the Board!
I want to thank all of the members of the board, executive committee, Chamber staff, and our partners in the community for their support, encouragement, and dedication to this community this year. It has been a pleasure to serve!