Goessel clerk considers application
Goessel City Clerk, Anita Goertzen, attended the 21st annual Retreat for Rural Leaders at the Barn-and-Breakfast Inn near Valley Falls. The retreat was attended by 24 civic leaders statewide and was organized by the Kansas Sampler Foundation.
After the retreat, Goertzen has contemplated how to apply those experiences to Goessel.
Talking with a technology guru, at the meeting, she is interested in improving Goessel’s computer system at the city office to allow the city to function more efficiently. Goertzen said she is already active online trying to promote the town. However, she wants to add information to the Get Goessel webpage about the original steps to the Bethesda Hospital and the grave, where Jim Jarvis is buried, to attract members of Kansas Explorers Club to town.
She wants to engage younger adults in town, referred to at the retreat as power ups. She thought dance lessons, aerobics, or computer classes might be well attended. She said Goessel has tried to maintain interest generated from Threshing Days in August with a Harvest Festival in October. Unfortunately, the first two years of the Harvest Festival have been sparsely populated because of weather and local sporting obligations.
She also thought about trying to showcase the enthusiastic people in Goessel. The first three people she thought of were Brian Stucky, GHS art teacher; Linda Ewert, the pastor of Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church; and John Fast, the Superintendent of the USD 411 school district.
Two topics emphasized at the retreat were nurturing relationships and turning ideas into action.
Each year, the group takes a field trip to work on the theme. Muscotah, a small town in western Atchinson County, was the field laboratory this year. The group met with townspeople to hear ideas and then toured the town. Then the group met to create action steps to help Muscotah.
Another action was to help create a library in Woodbine, a small town in Dickinson County. Participants brought more than 400 blocks to the retreat, created an online library database, and raised some money to help start the library. Two hours after the retreat, volunteers gathered in Woodbine to help unload books.