Good governance and fiscal responsibility are the bedrock of a quality city, but I do not believe a thriving community exists on that alone. Equally important is a purposeful, stable, and pro-active approach to growth.
If elected, I will focus on the following:
Shawnee is falling behind our peer cities in both business and residential growth – in some cases, far behind. This means our homeowners are forced to bear a majority of the cost of essential city services, and it means many of us are venturing outside of Shawnee for shopping, dining, and employment.
We are at a crossroads as a community, and this problem will only continue to compound if we wait for someone else to provide a solution. Johnson County is a highly competitive and desirable county for economic development, but development doesn’t happen automatically. Working together, we will aggressively and strategically seek out exciting opportunities that will bring value to our community. We will take our seat at the regional table.
We’re a humble city, but it’s time we stop letting other people tell our story and define who we are. We have much to be proud of, and we should never shy away from competing on the regional or national stage. Growing our business base is the only sustainable means of lowering our residential property taxes, while maintaining quality services.
As your mayor, I would be an ambassador for our city, always, and will challenge the insular thinking that has stalled our growth and increased our individual tax burdens.
When asked, most of us would say that what we love best about Shawnee is our local and unique charm. This is certainly what attracted me to the city, and why I plan to raise a family here. I believe we can maintain that amazing sense of community, while also providing for our economic stability. Change is inevitable; let’s make that change work for us.
As your mayor, I will honor our rich heritage, and use it as a constant guidepost during our growth process. This is not to become a mirror image of our neighbors, but to create an environment wherein our past enhances our future, not limits it.
It is impossible to accomplish anything truly great without a plan. It’s no wonder that so many ask what we want to be as a city – our comprehensive plan hasn’t been updated since 1987. Until we are all on the same page about the direction of Shawnee, it is impossible to make progress.
This extends well beyond where development and growth should occur, to our core and most essential city services. We’ve made significant investments in our public safety departments over the last four years (including more than 20 front line positions – sworn officers and fire fighters), but there are capital needs on the horizon. We’re funding street and storm water repairs at higher levels, but we have a backlog that must be addressed. Until you, our residents, understand and trust that we have a long-term plan for our most basic services, we can’t expect you to support change. We must have a leader who is unafraid to help chart that course.
As mayor, I would be dedicated to working together to create stability in the form of a thoughtful, forward-thinking plan for Shawnee, and would work tirelessly to ensure we’re meeting the promises made to our residents.