By Tom Willis, CEO Conestoga Energy Holdings LLC
Our country was built by people who paired needs with opportunity, looked for innovative ways to solve them and build for the future. When our founding fathers came to this country it was to have religious freedom and the opportunity to build a life to pass onto their children that was better than what they would have had in Europe.
There are countless examples here locally that have built upon these same principles. They have provided necessities like clean water, sufficient food and civil protection as well as built for the future. The oil and gas industries, cattle and the rest of production agriculture all were spurned by need and opportunity and have led to what we have today, opportunities that generations before us did not and that we often take for granted.
I’m proud to be a part of our organization for many of these same reasons. Our founders saw a need to create jobs and opportunity in an industry that had synergies with our local farmers and cattleman. They also had a burning desire to protect American lives through energy independence.
It took great desire and determination to raise $300 million dollars in Southwest Kansas, and assuredly, many people said it couldn’t be done.
Throughout the planning process, the founders took input from community members as well as others in the industry on how to control costs, create win/wins and position their country for future success.
Today, Conestoga Energy Partners employs 150 direct employees, and supports countless more indirect jobs while at the same time providing opportunities to local farms and reducing the need to put our troops in harm’s way to protect our foreign oil interest.
Our company is just one of many examples of the great things that our local people are capable of creating.
Our local education system is the next pressing need we as a community need to address. Protecting our children and providing improved opportunities and environments for them to learn in needs to be our way of paying forward the opportunities others have afforded us.
Investing in our young people by investing in our school system shows our commitment to the future. This commitment shows others looking to invest in our communities who we are and what we are about. It can become a significant stepping stone towards building a better Liberal for the future.
The school board and vision committee have done their work in building a solid plan with creative financing. It’s time for all of us to do our part to ensure that the bond is passed. Vote “Yes – Yes” April 8th.