Meet the commission: Dick Hedges

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Commissioner Dick Hedges is no stranger to leadership. Hedges is a man of education. He has spent his life as a teacher, a coach and a principal. Not only that, but he has served on other boards as well, including the Hospital Board for eight years.

Commissioner Hedges has a long history with Fort Scott. Hedges was the coach of the Fort Scott High School football team for eight years.

"I came in 1968 to coach and got to liking the community," said Hedges.

Hedges left Fort Scott after nine years as Assistant Principal but came back shortly when the school called and offered the Principal job. Hedges made the decision to come back for four more years.

While Hedges was the Assistant Principal, he also took on the responsibility of teaching the Driver's Education course. Little did he know how much of an impact he would have on the student. Hedges said that just the other day at the State Fair in Hutchinson, Kan. a former student introduced him to a friend by saying, "this way my Driver's Ed. teacher."

Since leaving the High School for the second time Hedges has taken many different jobs in the education field including two stints as the President of Fort Scott Community College totaling twelve years of service to the college.

All of Hedges experience in the education field did not go unnoticed. Governor Sebelius appointed Hedges to the Kansas Board of Regents in July 2007.

Hedges took the experiences that he gained from his work in education and took the opportunity serve the community.

"It was time for me to give back to the community," said Hedges.

Hedges believes that as the City Commission it is their responsibility to take care of the community as best they can as well as satisfy the community members.

"If we're not reflecting what [the citizens] want within reason, then we're not doing our job," said Hedges.

Commissioner Hedges is now in his eleventh year on the Fort Scott City Commission. He joined the commission to fill an unexpired term. He grew to enjoy the job and ran again.

"It is the purest form of government," said Hedges. "Its all the kind of things that effect your quality of life."

As the work on the downtown area continues to progress Hedges feels hopeful and optimistic about the preservation of the downtown area.

"I'm encouraged by the merchants and the people who have taken it upon themselves paint their place," said Hedges.

Not only is he hopeful for the downtown area, but he is also working hard to get the completion of Highway 69.

"We've got to work hard to have something so that the highway doesn't lead away from here," said Hedges.

There is no doubt that Commissioner Hedges has but extensive work and effort into the improvement of Fort Scott. Something that he recognizes is the necessity to constantly make changes and improvements. Understanding this, Hedges does not plan to run for re-election. He said that it is time for your new and younger leadership to continue the growth and improvement of Fort Scott.

Although his work with the commission will be ending soon, Commissioner Hedges will continue to support the advancement of Fort Scott.

"It feels good, it feels like home," said Hedges.