At their meeting Monday morning, the Barton County commissioners approved three proclamations – one honoring their late colleague Don Cates who died in a agricultural plane crash last week, and two honoring Barton County high school students from Ellinwood, Great Bend and Central Plains high schools.
The tributes, which proclaimed Monday as Don Cates Day, EHS\GBHS FBLA National Awards Program Day and Central Plains High School Girls 2A State Basketball Champions Day, were a study in contrast. Yet, they were linked.
The Cates honor recognized him as an outstanding commissioner, as well as a great man and leader.
“WHEREAS, the single greatest connection between the public and its government is the elected official; and
WHEREAS, in a community like Barton County, that connection is paramount as the elected official is likely a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a businessman or an acquaintance; and
WHEREAS, it is vital that the elected official maintain a link to the public through personal and professional relationships. These links allow for a flow of information to and from the public, strengthening the voting power of the elected official; and
WHEREAS, Barton County, and particularly the citizens of Commission District 4, lost a valued leader when Don Cates was killed on April 22, 2014,” the proclamation read in part.
Commissioners said Cates left some very big shoes to fill as they paid homage to his legacy.
As for the students, “this is a shining example of what we produce in Barton County,” she said. “The future is bright,” said Commissioner Jenniefer Schartz.
In recognizing the young people, the Commission was looking forward to legacies yet to be written.
Taken together, all the proclamations prove we have a lot to be proud of here. We have quality people willing to step up and serve their fellow residents, and we have youth capable of stepping in and taking over in the years to come.
We are blessed for both.