Compared to its peers, Lebanon looks pretty good

Gary Sosniecki

Gary Sosniecki


As I traveled my sales territory for eight years visiting newspapers in cities as big as Omaha and as small as Timber Lake, South Dakota (population 477), I often compared the prosperity of each community to that of communities where I had lived.

When it came to comparing cities similar in size to Lebanon, population 14,650, Lebanon always fared well.

Now that I’m retired here after a 12-year absence, I have even more interest in seeing that Lebanon looks good compared to its peers.

So as Helen and I drove to South Dakota a few weeks ago to speak at a newspaper convention, we detoured to a couple similar-sized cities in that state to check out how they compared to Lebanon: Yankton, population 14,454, and Mitchell, population 15,693.

I’m sure that economic-development specialists have specific criteria they use to determine the health of a community. We had our eyeballs and their impressions from driving around town, similar to the impressions an industrial or retail prospect might have on a first visit to a community.

And we didn’t inquire about local politics. Our guess is that the squabble at Lebanon’s City Hall is, sadly, more exciting than anything going on in its South Dakota peers. Unfortunately, Lebanon’s current political climate would not leave a good impression on an industrial or retail prospect.

For the complete column, see the Weekend print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.

First stop: Yankton, nicknamed the “Mother City of the Dakotas” because of its role as the first capital of the Dakota Territory.


The Lebanon Daily Record

100 E. Commercial St.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-9131