We hope to see you at the polls!

November 1, 2018

I hope you are ready to head to the polls next Tuesday. On Nov. 6, we will again exercise our right and responsibility in a representative Democracy to cast our ballot and express our choices.

It is so vitally important that business leaders not only vote themselves, but also encourage their employees to do the same. In 2002, the U.S. Chamber shared a survey that showed many people identify their employer as their most trusted source of information on how to vote. Groups that do not value the free market are certainly out making their case all the time. There is no reason that the business community should be any less forthright in making our voice heard in the political process.

Please vote Tuesday and vote for candidates and issues that support the ability of business and local communities to work as intended.

One aspect of the election I think we can all feel good about is the local races on the ballot. The Columbus Area Chamber does not endorse candidates, but clearly we understand the importance of citizens who are willing to become public servants and put their names on the ballot. We have several local races in which voters can decide between solid choices, just as democracy is intended to function.

One choice on the local ballot is Columbus’ “LB840” Economic Development Sales Tax. It is actually a two-part vote; one for the re-approval of the 1/10th of 1-cent sales tax and the second part for the economic development plan. This plan and funding source have been used in Columbus since 2006 to created jobs and investment in our community. The funding is not a new tax or tax increase, and because it is taken from sales tax, we are actually bringing support from outside city limits to support the local projects funded through LB840. The Chamber enthusiastically supports a “yes” vote on both measures.

As we announced last week, the votes are in already for the Chamber’s Annual Awards. The Ovation Award is presented by Ernst Auto/Ernst Toyota to Sharee Jedlicka as the outstanding business or professional woman. Sharee is the founder of Dynamic Life Therapy and Wellness.

The Archway Award is given by Pinnacle Bank to Mike Fleming as the outstanding business or professional man. Mike has owned Mike’s Auto Sales and Towing for more than 40 years.

The Charles Farnham Volunteer of the Year is awarded by First Nebraska Bank to Deb Potter. Deb serves the Platte Valley Humane Society and numerous other community organizations.

The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce this year honors the 2018 class of inductees to the Columbus Area Business Hall of Fame: Emiel Christensen, Jackson Caleb Echols, and Christ Wunderlich. We’re excited to have the award-winners and families of the Hall of Fame inductees joining us for the banquet!

Event details for the Nov. 20 Hall of Fame Banquet, sponsored by BankFirst and Loup Power District, are now on-line at www.thecolumbuspage.com/events. You can reserve tickets for $35 or a corporate table of eight tickets for $300. We hope to see you there!

K.C. Belitz is president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.