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Douglas County Commission candidate Ken Grotewiel to chat

October 23, 2008

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Douglas County Commission candidate Ken Grotewiel, a 3rd district Democrat, will take questions from readers.

Moderator:

Hello and welcome to this LJWorld.com Election 2008 chat with Ken Grotewiel. I'm Becky Wilson and I'll be your moderator today. Ken is running for the 3rd District County Commission seat, and feel free to ask him some questions. Welcome, Ken, and thank you for joining us today.

Ken Grotewiel:

Thank you for this opportunity. I'm looking forward to the questions from you.

Moderator:

Let's get things started.

gdiepenb:

Is there one main issue that encouraged you to run for this seat?

Ken Grotewiel:

My wife and I moved here because Douglas County has so much to offer. I'm running because I care about this community and wanted to give something back. My wide ranger of personal and professional experience will lend itself to meeting the challenges that we face as a community. My primary motivation to run was to promote managed development, and at the same time balance that with preserving green space and maintaining the unique character of our county,

LindseySlater:

What do you think are the biggest issues facing the county and why are you the right candidate to tackle them?

Ken Grotewiel:

One of the biggest issues facing the county is funding the level of services we have every right to expect. We can do that by better managing the county budget, particularly by controlling the number of employees we have. At the same time, we need to give our employees the tools they need to provide services, particularly by upgrading technology and software. My experience as a samall business owner and serving in the Kansas Legislature give me the background to manage our county budget.

Byrne:

Looking at future development, how do you best decide how to balance green space with the needs of industry?

Ken Grotewiel:

We need to restore faith in the planning process which has been eroding due to changing the rules after a project has started. This is frustrating to developers and the public alike. The first step is to get people together from the business community and citizens to put together a plan that provides for green space and the needs of industry. Once there is some general agreement on this balance in any area proposed for development, we need to stick with the plan when a development proposal is not a good fit.

Byrne:

Is there any area in the budget that should be protected above others, if/when cuts come about?

Ken Grotewiel:

Before we make any cuts, we need to really make every effort to consolidate services wherever it makes sense and finding efficiencies throughout the budget. If cuts are absolutely necessary, we need to maintain public safety and the safety net services for those most in need. I strongly believe that we must always look at outcomes, and not just activity, when we are deciding where resources should go. We cannot simply cut all services evenly across the board. We must reward those that produce results through innovation and collaboration.

Moderator:

What would you say are Douglas County's strengths? What do we do particularly well, and what should we focus on to build from?

Ken Grotewiel:

The strengths of the county are a rich history, a vast array of cultural events, and a highly educated populace. We should build on our historical heritage, which would increase the number of people visiting here. Our cultural assets are the basis in my mind for making our community attractive to people thinking about retiring here. That was certainly a big part of why my wife and I chose to live here in Douglas County. I think we should also think about the value of having parks and trails for people to enjoy.

Moderator:

We're running out of time here today. Thanks for joining us, and do you have any final thoughts for our readers?

Ken Grotewiel:

To serve the people of Douglas County as a County Commissioner would be a great honor. I have a broad range of experience that I will draw upon as I do my best to represent you. This experience includes serving in the Kansas Legislature, helping people with their insurance complaints at the Kansas Insurance Department, and working at the Kansas Water Office where I worked with many rural water districts, cities, and other water entities. My experience as a mediator will be useful in helping private and public interests come to some common agreements, something very vital to the future of our community. I would appreciate your support and vote on election day, November 4.

Moderator:

Thanks again for joining us today, and thanks to those who submitted questions. If you'd like to post a question in any of our upcoming chats please log onto LJWorld.com/chats. To see a transcript of previous chats, visit LJWorld.com/chats.

Comments

yankeelady 5 years, 6 months ago

i saw in another article he is against the SLT as it stands now. The 32nd street route isn't perfect, but if we go back to the drawing board it could be another 20 yrs. I hate to vote against a democrat, but there it is. Build the SLT.

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Godot 5 years, 6 months ago

He says he has experience. What is it?

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frankiej65 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure about this guy.... he knocked on my door recently, handed me his pamphlet and then just stood there. I started asking him questions which he responded with very short one-word answers. If someone who is running for public office has a voter's attention, they really should maximize that moment by sharing their agenda. I wasn't impressedNot sure I will mark his box....

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