Hays mayor responds to NY mayor after comments about Kansas


Last Tuesday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams briefed New York on his recent trip to the Caribbean. He visited Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic after Hurricane Ian swept over the countries. 

“One house we went into was flooded with 14 feet of water,” Adams said, giving a first hand description of what he saw. “There was a husband who was taking care of his wife, who was connected to a generator. If that generator had gone off, then she would have lost all her medical equipment and her life.”

Adams was asked what’s next in their effort to help those impacted by the storm. “Hospitals can’t operate. People aren’t getting clean water. Tied to that grid is so much, and we must focus on that issue,” Adams said. 

During his briefing, Adams spoke of the devastation left behind after the cyclone before comparing his state to Kansas. 

“New York has a brand, and when people see it, it means something. Kansas doesn’t have a brand,” Adams said followed by a chuckle. “New York has a brand, it has a brand, and that brand means diversity, that brand means we care, that brand means we are compassionate.” 

Hays Mayor Mason Ruder has ties to New York as his family immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island before heading west of the states. 

When asked about how Kansas aids in communities outside its state, Ruder says that The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has turned to Kansans for help in the past. 

“When it comes to things like hurricanes, we get requests all the time from FEMA and everyone else who was impacted,” Ruder said. “We send out paramedics, EMS, flight first responders.” 

Ruder also noted how Hays contributes to the efforts. 

“I’ve had family members go out and help with the last hurricane that hit the Florida region a few years ago,” Ruder said. 

When asked to think about what Kansas’ “brand” is, Ruder said that when traveling from state to state, he often hears of how nice the residents of Kansas are. 

“Kansas people are very proud of trying their best to help each other out through everything they can,” Ruder said. “I see it all the time, fundraisers and activities.” 

Ruder’s response to the comparison of the states is that it’s a symbiotic relationship. “New York is a huge commerce hub, very tech forward, Kansas is extremely focused on natural resources and agriculture,” Ruder said. “He needs Kansas to supply a lot of what he needs, and we need the commerce that comes through.” 

Ruder noted the unfairness of Adam’s comments but invites him on a tour of Kansas and its accomplishments since its birth. 

“I’d love to show him around,” Ruder said. 

Long-time resident Kansas resident Alison Buehler says the comparison was unfair. “We’re in the middle of everything, but not a lot goes on here,” Alison said. “It’s not fair to compare the two because they’re obviously very different.”

FHSU agriculture student Brent Cantrell argues the business of farming is what represents the state. 

“Kansas is number one in cattle and wheat production,” Cantrell said. “Agriculture is probably the face of Kansas.”

Buehler’s assumption of Mayor Adams was that he’s never been to Kansas, tieing it back to the unfairness of the comparison made. Cantrell had the same thought of Adams as well, stating, “He probably doesn’t know anything about Kansas, so it’s more ignorance than him being a [jerk].”

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