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Letters to the Editor

Lincoln Daily News publishes letters to the editor as they are received.
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Letters to the Editor
Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL  62656

Letters must include the writer's name, telephone number, and postal address or e-mail address (we will not publish address or phone number information). Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to edit letters to reduce their size or to correct obvious errors. Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to reject any letter for any reason. Lincoln Daily News will publish as many acceptable letters as space allows.


The right person at the right time      Send a link to a friend

The first time I had a conversation with Rob Orr was seven summers ago. Well, it wasn't really a conversation. Rob was conversing with me. I, on the other hand, was just ranting.

My partner at the time, Bill Haak, and I were getting the old Doty's Jewelry store in the Arcade ready for our antiques store. It was a day when I was writing six checks to six different entities that my carefully crafted business plan had not realized would need my largess. It was just after balancing a new checkbook with all kinds of withdrawals but not one deposit that Rob walked through the door.

Rob was dropping off a chamber membership package and was enthusiastically trying to get the store to become a member. I cannot recall my exact words, but they were something along the lines of: Why should I give you any money? What the heck will the chamber do for me? and on and on till I flopped the packet on the counter and told Rob I would think about it. Still polite, Rob said he would stop by another day. I am quite certain as he left the store that he must have felt he had just met the biggest donkey in Logan County.

To close out this story quickly, Rob did persevere and come back, Bill and I did join the chamber, and the legend of my being a "firm keister" grew in the business community.

Over the years I would see Rob on occasion. Always a polite young man, he would drop a few proverbs my way, and I would gruff something back at him.

I followed Rob's business efforts as we all did in the paper. Not always certain he wasn't just crazy, I continued to admire the fact that he was trying hard to rejuvenate downtown structures and businesses. We never developed a friendship, but I always thought highly of his hard work ethic and the way he carried himself

Six weeks ago I read that Rob was hired on an interim basis to fill the EDC job, and my economically deprived spirits picked up. Here was someone who actually knew what it was like to be in business accepting a job to promote and help create business.

This week I spent over an hour with Rob, and now my spirits are more positive than they have been in years that the right person at the right time is our economic development director. The only thing that could further boost my morale is if the word "interim" is removed from his job description.

 

[to top of second column in this letter]

I could tell you specifics of the things Rob and I talked about during that hour, but besides running out of column space, I would prefer he communicate directly with you. I sincerely hope he will use the available media to share with you the ideas and ideals that he shared with me this past week.

I want you to see that he knows what it's like to build business dreams in Lincoln and Logan County. Rob knows what it's like to have a great day at the cash register as well as what it's like to stare out a storefront window and ask the Lord where the customers are that day. He has personally experienced what it's like to restore old structures like the Depot and the Avery and Comstock building. He has dealt with the encouragements and the disappointments of being an entrepreneur as well as a retailer. Most of all, he knows what it's like to work 60 or 70 hours a week, as he did at The Restaurant at the Depot, chasing a dream of making a better life in a town where he has invested his efforts and his money.

Rob understands the balance between retail and manufacturing. He is aware that affordable housing is an element of economic growth and that a community working together can achieve great things. Rob also appreciates and understands the needs of those of us who have already made the maximum commitment of having a retail business or factory right here, right now.

I asked Rob to define his job, and his simple two-word answer is better than anything I could have come up with if I used up another 50 column inches. Rob defines his position as "job broker." Those two words carry more power and hope for this city and county than any others I could imagine.

Mike Fak

Lincoln

(posted Feb. 25, 2004)

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Brady pledges support for new university president       Send a link to a friend

Monday it was announced by the board of trustees at Illinois State University that Dr. Al Bowman will be named president of the university.

I want to extend my congratulations to Al and Linda Bowman on being selected for such a prestigious and important position. Not only have they given over two decades of service to Illinois State University, its students and faculty, they have the institutional knowledge that will help forward the university at this time.

In my 12 years in the Illinois General Assembly, I have been pleased to have worked with four university presidents, each of them fitting the unique role and providing a unique form of leadership at the necessary time. I firmly believe that there is no one better suited to fill the role of presidency at Illinois State University than Dr. Al Bowman.

 

[to top of second column in this letter]

At this time, he possesses the skills necessary to enhance and motivate the faculty. He has the determination to recruit top-quality students and challenge them to meet their highest potential. He has the ability to ask people who have benefited from Illinois State University to invest in its future through contributions to its endowments.

We are struggling under very difficult times financially, and it is critical that we have leadership like Al Bowman and the rest of the administration and faculty on the campus at Illinois State University.

I pledge my full support in working with Dr. Bowman as he pursues academic excellence and achievement for Illinois State University.

Sen. Bill Brady

Forsyth

(posted Feb. 24, 2004)

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