By Derek Okubo

The 2008 All-America City of Gladstone, Missouri continues to demonstrate what being a designee is all about. I was in Gladstone last week working with their city council in their 2011 goal setting retreat and heard some remarkable news in light of today’s tough economic environment. This past August, the city brought two bond elections (one for roads and another for sewer/infrastructure) and a ¼ cent sales tax increase to city residents to address public safety and communication needs. The bond elections passed with 88% and 86% respectively. The sales tax increase passed with 79% of the vote. These startling percentages are indicative of the high level of citizen participation/partnerships and the intentional and deliberate communication loops between the city, community organizations and citizens.  As a result, Gladstone residents understand the intent of the bonds and sales tax increase and trust that their government will follow through appropriately.