Mayor Wes Mainord spoke to The Shawnee Rotary Club Tuesday, and encouraged them to foster community pride and work together to move Shawnee forward.
“My goal is to make Shawnee a better place,” the mayor said.
He explained that the process of changing a city can be difficult because people will look at the same problem and come up with different solutions – or identify different problems all together.
“People look at things from different angles,” Mainord said.
He explained what many at the lunchtime meeting already knew – poverty is a problem in Shawnee. The federal poverty level is set just under $23,000 for a family of four.
Mainord cited statistics explaining that 24 percent of Shawnee residents live at or below the poverty level. And a higher percentage – those living just above it don’t have an easier time, he added.
These people, Mainord explained, will have trouble caring for themselves, let alone assisting in efforts to change Shawnee.
“We need your efforts,” Mainord said.
In order to continue changes in Shawnee, he encouraged people to spend their tax dollars here. City government is funded entirely through sales tax, he said. In order for the city to renovate and make changes, it is very important for people to spend money at home.
“Ask yourself, stop and think, ‘Can I do it here in Shawnee?’” Mainord encouraged the audience to shop for groceries locally, as well as other goods.