The eight years of service Jay Knudtson gave to Cape Girardeau as mayor were recalled Tuesday night at a special "passing the gavel" event at Southeast Missouri State University's River Campus. Also honored for their years of service were Marcia Ritter and Charlie Herbst, who served as council members.
The River Campus was an especially significant venue for the event. One of the biggest challenges facing Knudtson when he became mayor in 2002 was the stalled project to construct a campus for the visual and performing arts. The new mayor met -- 40 times -- with businessman Jim Drury working out an agreement that resulted in Drury's support. The result is the gleaming new campus that preserves an important piece of the city's history.
This was Knudtson's style: personal involvement in projects he thought were important to Cape Girardeau. Among those he shepherded -- with support from city staff, council members and voters -- were a new fire station, new public works building, water park, golf course improvements, tax for public safety, tax for parks and storm-water control, renewal of the Transportation Trust Fund, retail development, new jobs, an interstate interchange, overhauled zoning codes, updated comprehensive plan and DREAM Initiative master plan.
A remarkable record. Thank you.