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December 07th, 2021
L&T Opinions Page

LETTER TO THE EDITOR, Tony Whisenant, Liberal


In 1960, Liberal, Kansas had a population of 13,813. It was slightly bigger than Dodge City, had more than 2,000 more people than Garden City and was more than twice the size of Guymon, Okla.

Liberal was the center of it all, yet despite all of its potential, over time our city lost its place as the hub of the Southwest.

Today, Garden City’s population is 28,151, up 5.6 percent since 2010, while Liberal’s population is only 19,825, down 1.6 percent form 2010. Dodge City is almost the size of Garden City, and we are no longer more than twice the size of Guymon.

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What happened?

I think it has a lot to do with attitude, and that needs to change; but we also need to look inward at our regulations, examine and conclude which ones are really needed, and which ones may inhibit the well being and growth of our city.

You can have as big of an economic development department as some want, and we have in the past, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee greater economic development. I personally think we are more likely to achieve greater economic growth not by growing government but by growing opportunity.

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