Archive for Thursday, September 29, 2005

A monitor of city progress

September 29, 2005

Ron Jacobson has some definite ideas about Lansing's future, and he is happy to see the city's current administration agrees with him on most of them.

Jacobson said when he first moved to Lansing from Leavenworth 30 years ago, he thought city officials were more concerned about their own welfare than they were the collective good of Lansing residents.

Jacobson, a contact representative for the Department of Veterans Affairs, has an idealistic view of public service, which explains why he is so proud of his son John, the superintendent of community development for the city of Lansing.

"His motivations are pure," Ron Jacobson said of his son, "and he wants to do what best for the city."

Of public servants, Jacobson said, "When your main motivation is money, good things will happen to you, but not necessarily to the community."

He said he had briefly considered a City Council run in the '70s: "Thought about it, laughed about it, forgot about it."

Jacobson said he would have been a reformer.

"I'm glad I didn't do it," he said. "They got some better people in there. There's been a steady improvement."

As far as the future development of Lansing goes, Jacobson said he liked what he saw happening with Towne Center.

Ron Jacobson

Ron Jacobson

"I hope they get the kinds of businesses that befit this town," he said. "I don't want to see it like Fourth Street, with nothing but fast food."

Jacobson said he thought the planned 128-acre city park exemplified what Lansing is doing right these days.

"It's tough to have a community without the ability to entertain people and give them a place to exercise," he said.

Name: Ron Jacobson

Address: 137 Fairlane

Graduate of: Kansas City Kansas Community College, associate's degree in general studies

Family: Wife, Diana; daughter, Sarah; sons, Joe, Bart, Jason and John

How long have you lived in Lansing and what brought you here? Since 1975. It was a new and up-and-coming community, with a good school system even then.

What do you like most about Lansing? We've managed to keep the good things about small towns and still be progressive.

That do you do for fun? Fish with my grandson.

What would surprise people about you? Probably that I'm an ex-Marine. I volunteered while in high school and served two years in Vietnam.

What's the best advice you've received? From my dad: "Learn to be happy with what you have." That's the secret to happiness.

To what organizations do you belong? Leavenworth Veterans of Foreign Wars. I'm not much of a belonger.

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