The current county commission has committed special sales tax revenue to several capital improvement projects. How would you like to see these projects handled if elected?
County Road 1 has been controversial. When you start developing, you must set aside areas for farmland and parks. There is no question homes will be built. People all over the county should have a say in a project this large. The communication upgrade is a federal mandate, but you need to have public input.
We must insure the citizens of Leavenworth County get full value for their dollar. It's important we do this in everything we do as servants of the taxpayers, whether it is their money, trust or confidence. We need to ensure we are diligent in how we progress to make the most of this investment. We must take care to listen to the wishes of the citizens and determine what is best for the the community.
I believe these matters are basically decided.
By the vote of the people on major projects with rights of the minority in mind.
The commission's priority should be ensuring the welfare and safety of its citizens and seeking the overall approval of residents for new projects and programs. Both projects should be conducted in a manner to ensure the best quality product and the maximum benefit to the county when completed.
I have not seen any voter approval of the County Road 1 project. If the voters were to vote for this project, it would be the commissioners' duty to proceed.
The county has approved a lease-purchase agreement through KDOT for the towers and other necessary equipment to satisfy the federal mandate to update our communications systems. By utilizing this option the county is saving a significant number of dollars. The cost is in the neighborhood of $10 to $12 million, which is lower than the estimated $20 million originally quoted. The goal is to fulfill this obligation and provide state-of-the art equipment for those who work for the county's emergency service departments. In support of the County Road 1 improvements, the county has committed an estimated $8.8 million, Tonganoxie committed $1.5 million, KDOT has committed an estimated $310,000 and the KTA has committed $2 million. The project is underway, and we must have a comprehensive master plan for appropriate development.
What kind of leadership, administrative and interpersonal skills do you possess?
As mayor, I initiated the open door policy. I made myself available to any person with a problem to discuss. I attended many meetings with the mayors of Basehor, Lansing and Leavenworth. With this background, I would have no problem working with the administrator or department heads.
My business experience in the construction industry will serve me well as a county commissioner. Open communications with the administrator as well as the department heads will allow the commissioners to be informed on issues and budgetary concerns. These people are experienced and professionals in their areas of responsibility. When they make their monthly reports to the commission I will ask questions about needs and costs versus benefits. I also promote an open door policy.
As a farmer and Realtor, I use various skills in management, communication and operations. Although county administration is charged with the daily responsibilities of management, the commission needs to provide clear, specific guidance to county administration to assure quality and cost effective services.
I had my own business for several years and have been a department manager for a large auto dealership. I have always had good relations with others. Employee turnover is a problem in Leavenworth County. If you have good employees, you should look for ways to retain them.
I have been a leader for over 35 years in different groups in church and farming, giving me experience with budgets. I would work with department heads with their experience in mind.
As a supervisor and business owner, you hire good people, then you support them and work with them to encourage the best results.
It has been my practice when interacting with individuals, whether they are employees, co-workers or fellow citizens, to be honest and fair. In order to develop excellent employees you must provide them goals, give them the responsibility to achieve those goals as well as the authority. However, we must be prepared to terminate individuals who are better off with other employers. I have always been known as an individual who loves people and gets along well with others. I truly enjoy problem solving with others to improve any situation.
Are you in favor of locating a combined regional airport and industrial complex in Leavenworth County? Why or why not?
There is a study being done now to analyze the proposed benefits of a regional airport. We are the only large county in the state without a regional airport. Usually, when you have this type of complex, industrial development follows. I would base my decision on the results of the study.
Based on the outcome of a recently requested feasibility study, we'll have a much better idea if it is a good investment or not. If it proves to be economically feasible, I would request the commission evaluate the opportunity and expenditure in relationship to all priorities for the county, placing the opportunity properly along with other projects. The other issues that would have to be resolved are a location funding.
I don't know if this is feasible. I would need a lot of study.
I would support a combined regional airport and industrial complex here because of financial benefits and job opportunities offered to the county's citizens, based on two conditions. Citizens must agree with the project as demonstrated by public discussions and it must be put in an appropriate location.
A regional airport this close to Kansas City International airport, downtown Kansas City and all the other major airports in my opinion would be a losing proposition. However, after being well informed of both the positives and negatives of such a project, if the voters want an airport industrial complex, then my job would be to find out how to make it happen.
Yes, I believe it would serve a good purpose.
Only if approved by voters and it didn't raise taxes. It would have to be self-supporting.
What differentiates you from the other candidates filing for this office?
I have experience working with people, budgets, roads and I understand rural life. I'm a lifelong resident of Reno Township.
I have the business experience, knowledge and leadership to perform in this capacity. I have worked in engineering, construction and economic and commercial development most of my career. I have held several management positions and am familiar with contract negotiations, facilities, accounting and human resource management. I am a team builder, and I am aware of the responsibilities of this position.
I don't deal in real estate, I'm not a developer, nor am I in any way connected to a developer, and I sincerely believe in voters' rights. The voters should have the final say in major expenditures and major projects.
I believe my background, experience and education uniquely qualifies me to be the next 3rd District County Commissioner. I want the opportunity to serve all of southern Leavenworth County on a full-time basis. I am dedicated to making our county an even better place to live and work. I know how to manage employees, build budgets and meet those budgets. I will work hard every day to improve Leavenworth County for every citizen.
As a lifelong Leavenworth County resident, I bring long-term perspective and desire for improvement toward more sustainable county services. I believe in the importance of offering job opportunities to young people within our county without jeopardizing the rural character or residents' ability to maintain their way of life.
I will lose money by doing this and I think that gives me a better feel for all of the people of this district.
I am the only elected official running for the commission. My experience as mayor has prepared me for this responsibility.