SMPost Interview 1.22.2019
1.) What were the major factors in your decision to run for a new term?
As a lifelong resident I am committed to working for our community. I am motivated by the responsibility to carry the torch for my hometown’s founding spirit with pride and progress. Pride in what makes Shawnee a unique and exceptional small town feeling place to live, work, and play and progress toward an even brighter future.
It has been a great privilege to serve the residents and businesses these past few years and together, with an open exchange of ideas, we have been focused on open government - increasing transparency, communication, and relationships ten-fold; public safety - increasing staffing in both police and fire, a new fire station, police body cameras and other additional tools; infrastructure - public works has improved more roads and storm water pipes than ever before setting new records; quality of life - with new parks, trails, quieting of train horns, sidewalks, sustainability, and more; and economic development - with hundreds of new businesses and over a 1000 new jobs, and I am committed to continue working together and putting resources where the needs are greatest.
With my vision for ‘One Shawnee’, we will continue our momentum to build a Shawnee that works for all. It is essential to safeguard the community in ways that reflect the wants and needs of the people who live, work, and visit Shawnee.
Shawnee has a special balance of tradition and innovation and despite differences in age, background, or circumstances, Shawnee is home to all of us. A community for everyone.
It has been my experience that city government works best when citizens participate. I firmly believe that by working together, and with an open exchange of ideas we can accomplish a lot, and we have! Every decision, from the hiring of our new city manager to the potential community center has included public engagement.
I am forever invested in this city for the long run and do not view my public service here as a stepping stone. There is no place I will ever call home or love more than Shawnee, and I am excited about its future.
2.) If elected to another term in office, are there particular projects or policy ideas that you would see as a priority?
A priority in the coming months is a group visioning session with the new governing body, new city manager, new deputy and assistant city managers, and staff (which includes a lot of new department heads), and of course residents, where we will be coming together to plan Shawnee’s future. This will include a working session where council members can bring up policy ideas they would like to see the council consider over the next year for discussion.
Shawnee is incredible in so many ways and we commit to excellent city services. We will operate in a manner of continuous improvement in that we will never be satisfied with the status quo but seek to personally and collectively enhance our skills and business practices that would set us apart and enhance public value and trust while propelling Shawnee into the future with new growth and development. My vision has always been not to ‘compete’ with our neighboring cities, but to do what’s right, responsible, and best for Shawnee.
Every resident and business in Shawnee deserves to be involved with and build from the prosperity of this great city.