Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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February 7, 2014

Each is an ambassador

Pretend you’re mayor.

You’ve reduced the cost and size of government. You’ve used economic development income tax funding to spruce up parks and federal money to transform downtown into the showplace it should be. You’ve earned a can-do reputation, and people have taken notice.

You get a call from a business owner. She’s looking to relocate her factory so that it’s nearer her customers. She visits your city.

You show her and her officers around town. You introduce them to the city’s economic development team and the leaders of the local colleges who can offer job training to employees.

They like the city. You take them to dinner.

Your server sets the table and says hello. You introduce him to your guests.

He asks the business owner where she’s from. “Tennessee,” she says. “I’m thinking of moving here.”

“Why would you want to do that?” he says.

Fortunately, many residents are good community ambassadors. We and other organizations have the letters and emails to prove it.

The folks at the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance recently received this one and shared it Thursday on their website:

“I have the privilege of being a very good friend of one of your citizens: Kate Mays. We’ve known each other for more than 4 decades!

“I spent a week or so of my summer of 2013 with Kate. Wasn’t hard to fall in love with Kokomo. I used to tease her for living there. We were young, and easily amused.

“Well, I got the grand tour. We visited downtown. The revitalization is apparent. It felt good to be there. It’s alive....

“All in all, I can say your city is clean, well groomed, friendly and definitely a place to live. It is comfortable. Perfect. Not too small and not too big....

“I pray your city is healing from your November nightmare. You just did not deserve that.

“See you again.....”

Our actions reflect not just our personal values but, fair or not, those of our community. When we’re polite, when we’re helpful, visitors are left with the impression that everyone else is too.

We’re all ambassadors of Kokomo. Kate Mays is a good example.

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