I have been contacted by multiple residents who received a letter from my opponent that contained misinformation about my record, our staff, and the work City Council has done at City Hall.
* He has NEVER attended a "Council Committee of the Whole" meeting. This meeting is where the City Council discusses the agenda items, votes on them, and then moved for approval at the Council meeting.
*He has NOT ATTENDED a single Council meeting. He was present for the Citizen’s Academy presentation and promptly left before the City Council meeting began.
*He has NEVER served on any City committees or volunteered for any City events.
* Had he wanted to be a City Council representative, he had the opportunity to file with the County before the June 1st deadline. He attempted to fill a vacant Council seat by appointment and was not chosen by the Mayor. He was notified in June. He had all of July, August, and September to run an honorable campaign. Instead, he chose to launch his campaign six weeks prior to election day.
*Being an elected City Council representative is a serious responsibility and something that takes a great deal of committment to the residents and the City. It demands a significant amount of time, work, and dedication. It is not something that can be decided six weeks prior to the election which indicates a lack of concern for issues facing Prairie Village.
I will briefly address the misinformation.
1) We do not need to "rebuild our emergency fund". We do not have an “emergency fund”. We have a reserve fund. I believe he is confusing the Economic Development Fund with our reserve fund. It is unfortunate, that he has not educated himself regarding our budget or budgeting process. The history about our Economic Development fund began in 2002.
In 2002, Johnson County voters approved a three-year quarter-cent sales tax primarily to provide additional funding for schools. The tax generated millions of dollars for schools, cities, and the county. That funding ended on December 31, 2008. The money acquired from the County is what created the Economic Development Fund to which I think he is referring. During the October 1, 2007 City Council meeting, the Finance Committee worked on creating an ordinance to establish an Economic Development Fund for the City. At that time, significant discussion went into the formation of a definition of “Economic Development”. As a result, Economic Development Funds must be used to directly increase city revenues, and/or city population, and/or property values of either commercial or residential property. Funds may be used for any project, programs or improvements deemed by the Governing Body as appropriate and related. The measures passed unanimously. This Economic Development Fund is not our “reserve fund”. It was never intended to be a reserve fund. Prairie Village has over $7M in our reserve funds which is currently at or above 25% of the general fund revenues as directed to City Staff.
We have an outstanding degree of creditworthiness, and we easily meet our financial commitments due to the conservative budgeting meausres prior City Councils and present City Council, including me, have taken over the years.
2) The City of Prairie Village has NOT received any requests for a CID. There are no discussions about creating a new CID for any developer. I believe the write-in entrant is again misrepresenting or misunderstanding readily available information. A prior Council approved a 22-year CID for the Village and Corinth shops. I was never in favor of this CID. This non-negotiable CID was in place before I was elected to Council and was supported by then, and now former, Ward One Council representative Dale Warman.
3) City Council just created and passed a new animal ordinance with includes dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs. Regarding the write-in entrant's statement that said he wanted to create a new animal ordinance is an uninformed statement. Two weeks ago we had our final discussion and vote at our Council meeting. He was NOT in attendance. We worked for over a year to create an ordinance that serves our residents and animals. Many stakeholders were actively involved with the writing of this ordinance. These include our police department, animal control, our attorneys, and our municipal judges. If he had attended the meeting, he would know that this issue has been voted upon and approved by Council. If the write-in entrant attended the meeting, he would know that this issue has been voted upon and approved by Council.
4) Regarding Council pay, I am in favor of Council pay. However, I’m not in favor of voting myself a pay raise for the first time in the history of Prairie Village without the clear supporting voice of residents that may want this position to be paid. There is a procedural means for that to occur and the residents can decide.
5) Regarding Breed Specific Legislation, I will continue to support breed neutral ordinances that address dangerousness of animals by their behavior and not by their appearance. I will continue to represent the residents in our community, as well as evidenced-based research and recommendations by professional organizations trained to deal with animal behavior and public safety. We remain only one of three cities in Johnson County that continues this ban.
6) Wanting a "walk and bike friendly city". This is another misinformed statement. We have already hired TransSystems to create a bicycle and pedestrian plan to be presented to Council in the next few months.