Success stories develop on different local fronts.
Local taxing entities are wrapping up the difficult chore of crafting annual budgets.
In the end, most ended up with proposed mill levies that were either flat or slightly higher than last year. While taxpayers always would appreciate more of a break, local governing bodies did their best to balance needs with available resources.
Meanwhile, some positive figures emerged on various fronts.
Garden City Community College had cause to celebrate being ranked No. 3 among two-year postsecondary educational institutions in Kansas, and 24th in the nation in student success. The rankings by the American Institutes for Research were based on the percentage of students who transferred to a baccalaureate institution within three years, and the percentage of students who graduated within three years.
The results brought proof of how proper curriculum and educational support give students a solid foundation. The high marks also were a sign of local taxpayers' investment in their community college paying off.
City of Garden City officials also recently noted numbers on the plus side.
Buffalo Dunes Golf Course, a true gem, was ranked fourth best golf course in Kansas, and third best "you can play" course in the state by Golfweek magazine.
And, a much bigger number: 10,000. Enplanements at Garden City Regional Airport are closing in on that target at a faster clip than usual, boosted by the arrival of jet service to Dallas via American Airlines. In previous years, it's been touch-and-go as enplanements — paying passengers who use the airport — barely topped the 10,000 needed to qualify for $1 million in federal funding for airport improvement and maintenance projects.
Falling short would cut that amount to $150,000, and local taxpayers would be left to fund more in necessary airport improvements.
It's easy and understandable to fixate on taxes. After all, no one — elected officials included — wants to pay more taxes.
Yet it's also important to evaluate the success of programs and missions aided by those public dollars. Taxpayers rightly demand quality and results, and when success stories materialize — as with GCCC and the city — they deserve attention, too.