Lake of the Ozarks has long been a favorite retreat for families across the Midwest. But it has quickly become, for some, a can't-get-there-fast-enough haven from national chaos brought about by Covid-19 shutdowns and urban unrest.

A recent thread of emails between Lake Ozark Mayor Gerry Murawski and a now-transplanted Los Angeles family exemplifies an incredible phenomenon: people are abandoning urban America and relocating to the Midwest. For this family, Lake of the Ozarks stood as a beacon of freedom: a perfect place to start fresh, once again. 

Mayor Murawski shared the email exchange during a recent board of aldermen meeting. He and other Lake area community leaders have come under fire around the state and nation this summer for taking a more subtle and freedom-forward approach to dealing with COVID-19 than many larger cities.

The email exchange reads:

“We are moving to your region from Los Angeles in search of freedom and to be able to put our kids in school. We appreciate your approach during these times. We beg you not to give in to the media and all of the fear mongering. We are giving up our business, but we have faith that this is the best for our children long term.

“I came from Romania to the USA in 1983 to escape Communism. I love this country, but what is happening in California is scary.”

Mayor Murawski responded in kind, welcoming the family to the Lake area and inviting them to stop by Lake Ozark City Hall after they are settled in. 

The family responded:

“This is unreal. The mayor of Lake Ozark responded to me faster than the contractors we’ve been working with…LOL!

“Seriously, I feel that this is a dream. Thank you so much for adding to my feeling that this really is the best path for my family and I. I have tears in my eyes. It has been a fantasy of my wife’s and I to live in a place in this country where life has more meaning of love, respect and freedom. I love this country so much because it has shown me that we have the choice, wherein reason, to create our own paths through hard work, honesty and persistence. We are responsible for our successes and failures.

“We are leaving Los Angeles Friday morning and will close on our new pad in Osage Beach on Tuesday. We are really looking forward to our new life.

God Bless You, mayor, and thank you again for responding so fast. It really means a lot to us. Stay strong! So proud to become a part of your (lake) community.”

As Mayor Murawski read the email exchange at the board meeting, he noted:

“That’s the kind of feeling I hear from a lot of our residents, but since this family came from Romania, I thought that it was even more touching because they understand what it is we do at the Lake.”

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