I am writing in support of the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility and its placement in Manhattan. As chair-elect of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, I believe NBAF and its people would be great assets to our community, contributing significantly to the positive quality of life we already enjoy.
This assessment has been confirmed in an extraordinary show of unity by state, local, and regional leaders as they joined in unanimous and bipartisan support of Kansas State University as the NBAF site.
The Kansas Legislature has endorsed the recommendation of the NBAF Kansas Task Force, comprised of 45 top-level Kansas leaders appointed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. Manhattan business, civic, and governmental leaders also have gone on record in strong support of NBAF.
At the regional level, the willingness of academic and professional partner institutions in both Missouri and Kansas to collaborate clearly identifies K-State as the leading biosecurity contender.
These efforts prove conclusively the willingness of our leaders to work together for the common good. Within the last few years, our state and local leaders made a similar commitment in support of Kansas military bases during the base realignment and closure process. Our community is well aware of the economic benefits from this effort, which underscores our appreciation of Fort Riley, a strong asset to Kansas and Manhattan.
We also bring to the table a significant asset in our highly-desirable Kansas work ethic, respected by employers nationwide. Aware of the big picture, they take immense pride in knowing that their job done well will surely contribute to a better world and better life.
Manhattan's exceptional quality of life is well equipped to meet the needs of KBAF and its people. Our visionary civic leaders have paved the way for exceptional community progress through the years, moving forward in faith, coupled with impeccable ethical standards and uncommon wisdom.
While we have not been without challenges to our community unity, the foundation of this exceptional city has been built on its goodness as an inclusive community of dedicated citizens with seemingly endless energies -- industrious, thoughtful, cooperative and respectful of one another and of differing opinions.
Attracted by the hospitable nature of Manhattan's people, many newcomers, including myself, have moved here permanently when they had planned on staying only a short while. I feel qualified by my residencies in eight other university communities to observe that the basic character of this community has remained intact in spite of the more than doubling of the population of the city and K-State during my lengthy tenure heree.
Alive with beauty, opportunity, excitement, clean air, moderate temperatures, little traffic and fun people -- in an environment that promotes courtesy, honesty, and dependabillity -- why wouldn't everyone want to live in Manhattan Kan., we ask ourselves!
Many people would -- especially if there were good job opportunities with equally good pay. Remember, this is the hometown community many of our children have fondly nicknamed "Manhappiness." It is well named, and many of them would like to live and work here. I firmly believe NBAF will be a dynamic, safe, and secure addition to our community, as are Kansas State University and Fort Riley.
Linda Weis, 215 Pine Drive, is chair-elect of the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.
Published in the July 30, 2008 edition of The Manhattan Mercury.