My name is Garret Carter. I grew up in California, Mo, a town right outside of the Missouri State Capital. I left for the military when I was 18 years old and spent 10 years in the Air Force. I was stationed at Eglin AFB, FL before Whiteman AFB, Mo, and served two tours of duty in Iraq, and one in Afghanistan. When I retired, my wife Brandi and I decided Knob Noster was our home. We planted our roots here in 2009, our kids now call it home, and we had created a connection to the community that was too hard to leave.
In the military I was a Civil Engineer, so I learned a lot about people, culture, and base operations. I worked hand in hand with sewer/water departments, road maintenance crews, and was part of base emergency management teams. After leaving the military, I held a couple jobs, and loved what I did, but in 2016, Brandi and I decided we wanted to do something to help improve downtown Knob Noster.
We had been to a few downtown meetings and saw people thinking the same things we were. Knob Noster is a great town, but it was missing something. It was missing commerce, something for kids to do, and a reason to leave your home and walk downtown. So we took everything we had and put it into an idea. We opened an ice cream shop, not knowing what would come of it. With amazing community support we now have a successful ice cream shop, in addition to that we opened a florist shop, and a home standby generator company.
Over the last couple years, through my business, I have gotten to know the members of the community and have created a strong working relationship with the city of Knob Noster. In this time, I have noticed a trend; the city tends to react to needs rather than plan for them. Our last city plan was created in 2007, and no plan to move forward has been presented since. I now currently sit on the Planning & Zoning Commission, and we are working towards a current Comprehensive City Plan. I believe this is currently one of the most important actions we can take. This plan will not only help Knob Noster “Grow with Purpose,” but set a plan forward in motion so we can see where we need to focus our efforts.
My main goals for Knob Noster are to define what we want to provide as a city and set achievable goals to get there. We also need to ensure we do not overreact, overspend or over tax; to make up for years of neglect on areas such as streets, water systems, parks, and other infrastructure. I do not believe we need to add tax burdens to provide the services our community wants or needs. Instead, we should create long and short-term plans to ensure all these areas are not only taken care of, but also create plans to maintain these areas. Two ways of creating revenue for the city is to focus on growing commerce and make annexations more appealing for new subdivision. The growth alone around Knob Noster will provide the taxes needed for the city to operate. To do this we will need to ensure permits are properly priced and enforced. We will need to work with landowners and contractors, to provide value in annexation of land for future developments and make it affordable for these lots to be built on.
Ultimately, we need to balance budgets, set goals, and plan for the future.