“Here’s your mail.” It is always good to check the mailbox and receive personal mail. Today we’ll learn about a remarkable rural town that has people working together to improve the community. They are also working to attract and retain youth in their community, using the mail – and an actual mailbox – as a reminder.
Cole Herder is city administrator in his hometown of Humboldt, Kansas. Cole grew up here and went to Wichita State where he studied electrical engineering technology. After a 29-year career in manufacturing, he gave local government a try and became city administrator.
Cole had already been involved in the civic affairs of his community as a volunteer. He was concerned about the future of the community in the early 2000s, as economic and government problems challenged the region.
In 2007, the community of Humboldt signed up for a program called Public Square Communities. As we have previously profiled, this program is intended to bring elements of the community together for progress. When the program came to Humboldt, a public meeting was held.
Cole Herder spotted a notice in the paper about Public Square having a public meeting about the future of the community. He was curious, but also tired of hearing negative comments from people at the time. He still remembers that night.