BRANSON, Mo. — Mayor Karen Best of Branson is speaking out quite candidly about Gov. Eric Greitens and Lt. Governor Mike Parson, who will take over the governor’s seat on Friday.
Mayor Best believes that Parson will be better at taking care of Branson’s needs -particularly tourism. “Governor Parson has a great understanding of the tourism industry..not only in our community but for the state,” said Mayor Best. “And that’s going to be a big difference between him and Governor Greitens because Governor Greitens cut the budget tremendously for tourism. ..and that’s the one economic driver for the state,” the mayor said.
She also says that the Lt. Governor is more visible.
“Since Gov. Greitens has been in office, the visits to Branson. I can probably count on one hand,” Mayor Best said, “And since Lt., Governor Parson has been Lt. Governor, I can count them on my hands and toes. He’s been here a lot.”
In addition, the mayor said, when the city of Branson needed funding after devastating floods, a move by Governor Greitens, hurt more than it helped.”
“We had a deadline for putting in for our losses and that deadline is usually 30 days..and for some reason, Governor Greitens shortened that to 17-days,” the mayor said.
“We had two floods within 30-days,” she said. “The first flood was covered by FEMA. The second flood wasn’t. Had that deadline been at 30-days, it would have been covered by FEMA. So, that cost our city, hundreds of thousands of dollars by that one date being shortened by Governor Greitens.”
The mayor said Parson immediately reached out to her during the floods — as opposed to Greitens, who called after the city was past the critical stage.
“Having that experience, I know that when the chips are down and we need our governor..that Governor Parson will be there for us to take care of things.”
Mayor Best said that she believes, soon-to-be Governor Parson and his wife Teresa will be paying more visits to Branson in the coming year, because their granddaughter will be attending College of the Ozarks.
Missourinet media partner KOLR-TV contributed this story
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