The 2018 Carroll Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, Ed Smith, received his award via a digital connection last year as he was traveling for the birth of his grandchild at that time. He says if Monday night’s annual banquet had been scheduled one week later, he would have been on the road for the second year in a row. However, he says it was great to be there live to present the award to this year’s recipient. Smith detailed how this year’s winner has spent their entire life working at making Carroll a better place to live.
Smith joked he read this person had at one time been mistaken for a Mormon missionary in Florida. The dead giveaway on their identity was when Smith pointed out the winner had written about the experience.
Burns says that receiving this recognition is humbling.
His role in the two decades-long fight for a new library in Carroll was included in Burns’ nomination letter. He says this was one of those projects that the entire community was responsible for bringing to fruition. He says he was surprised at the level of contention he has seen since becoming a member of the Carroll Public Library Foundation. That amazement continues to this day. Burns says it was shocking to see city leaders show up to oppose a state grant for the library at a meeting in southeast Iowa; particularly in light of the fact that if the money didn’t come to Carroll, it was going to go to another city for their projects.
Burns thanked many people while accepting the award Monday night, including his family. He says his mother, Ann Wilson, his grandfather and founder of the Daily Times Herald, James W. Wilson, and his uncle, Jim Wilson, have shown him through his entire life that you need to give more back to your community than you take. He says he is hoping to continue that legacy.