Dan Wehmer - Publisher's Pen

Dan Wehmer - Publisher's Pen

There’s something about Seymour that’s special.

It’s not my quote.

But I’ll claim it.

It was made to me more than a decade ago by a man who made it again last week when visiting the Citizen office.

His name is Mike Cunningham.

Some of you know Mike as the longtime owner of a great, home-owned grocery store in the county seat.

Others know him as our state representative.

Today, he’s our state senator.

I know him as one of my best friends.

Seymour should feel the same.

Mike stopped in at the office last week to express his congratulations to the community for its passage of the 75-cent tax levy for the Seymour R-II School District.

While here, he spoke on several subjects, ranging from hometown support for a new library, to hometown support for a YMCA and its adjacent indoor pool, to hometown support for the restored downtown Owen Theatre to the community-wide pride exhibited at events like the Seymour Apple Festival.

“There’s something about Seymour that’s special,” he said with a smile during his visit last week.

He’s spot on.

Mike’s got about a year left in his second, four-year term as our state senator for the 33rd District. Before that, he

served us for eight years as a state representative.

Along the way, he did lots of things in the open, as well as behind the scenes, for the people of Seymour. I’ve got a trunk full of tales about Mike making numerous phone calls and personal visits to make sure a military veteran received his or her due assistance. I’ve seen him invest weeks of work to make sure a state problem was solved for a local resident.

I’ve visited with him at an untold number of community fundraisers and funerals, both smiling and mourning with the people who call Seymour home.

It’s sad that he’ll be planning his retirement a year from now.

That’s a selfish opinion, as Mike’s earned his time off.

In the interim, I’ll be paying attention to whom he recommends as his replacement in the 34-member Missouri Senate.

Webster County’s long been blessed with solid representation in that state body, going back to the days of Dan Clemens.

Mike’s take should carry some weight.

* * * * * *

Reading time, three minutes:

• Free fundraisers.

Now that the Seymour R-II School District has an extra 75 cents of property-tax levy in the coffers, generating an estimated $425,000 next year alone, let’s see the local schoolboard put an end to the incessant fundraising conducted by the student body.

At what point do we, as a district, say no to needless drives for extra incentives?

If the school can’t fund a senior trip, then don’t do it.

If the school can’t fund out-of-state trips for student activities, don’t do them.

If the school can’t fund a program, end it.

School patrons and the community already fund the local school. The mechanism is called school taxes. And the residents of this school district generously upped the ante, voting nearly 2-to-1 to bump a $2.75 levy to $3.50.

I understand selling raffl e tickets at the Seymour Apple Festival.

But I don’t understand selling everything from salami rolls to T-shirts, especially when multiple groups are selling the same thing.

If nothing else, set up some standards for fundraising.

Or just say no.

• If you happen to see the Rev. Roy Cantrell and his lovely bride, Arneata, over the next week or so, congratulate them. A good place to find the dynamic duo is at the Seymour Senior Citizens’ Center during lunch.

Next Wednesday, Nov. 27, they will celebrate their 79th wedding anniversary.

Married in 1940, their marriage survived World War II, although Roy barely survived battle in Europe, where he earned numerous military medals for bravery in the Battle Of The Bulge, including a Silver Star and Purple Heart, among other accolades.

After returning home from the war, for nearly seven decades,

he preached the gospel.

The entire time, Arneata was at his side, just as she is today. She’s one of my favorite people.

If you don’t see them, send a card.

Their address is 511 South Cantrell Street, Seymour, Mo. 65746.

• If you want to know what’s going on along North Frances Street with city crews and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), I’ll simply suggest taking a look at what our friend PhoToad says online.

His explanation pretty much sums it up.

The situation is under control.

And the city isn’t on the hook for the bill.

Dan Wehmer is the Citizen’s editor, publisher and owner. He can be reached at 417-935-2257 or via e-mail at citizen@webstercountycitizen.com.

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