• Stephanie Meyer

Making the Case for Change.

In a few short days, voters will go to the polls to determine who will lead their city as mayor – and with increased advance voting options, many folks have already begun to weigh in. So, what is the choice, exactly? In my mind, it is between settling for less and seeing marginal growth or change…or instead looking to the future, believing our best days are still in front of us, and actively planning and working towards that end.

Over the last several months, I have highlighted the issues, ideas, and policies that I believe will best position our city – a place I love – for sustainable success. I have talked in specifics about departments, areas of town, and ideas for strategic growth. I have also been very transparent about the reason I ran. While I have no doubt as to the incredible love we all share for our city, your mayor must be able to provide meaningful direction and input, represent us on the regional and national levels to potential businesses, and have the vision to position Shawnee for growth and success in this 21st century.

The world will continue to change and, as mayor, it will be my responsibility to ensure that we are not left behind, and that we provide the services and amenities that our future residents will demand. That takes work. That takes engagement. We cannot shelter in place and expect to grow and prosper. Instead, we can use Shawnee's rich history as a market differentiator, using it to our advantage to diversify our tax base and bring in new restaurant, retail, and employment options without sacrificing the character we all love. We can do both.

For me, when I approach the voting booth, I do so with a frame of mind similar as to when I hire a new individual in my professional life. Who has the best and most relevant experiences, education, and perspective? Who is willing to look beyond the present to the benefit of our organization as a whole? I look for leaders who are enthusiastic about the future, and actively working to make it better. I look for folks who come to the table with ideas of their own, not waiting to be told what to do at every turn.

We have so much to be proud of as a city – and just as much opportunity for our future. The new leadership in place in our development department has done an amazing job of working to increase our city’s exposure within the region and beyond. Our Parks and Recreation system is one of the best in the county, and we have so many opportunities for growth – by working together as a community to create a vision. Our local businesses are incredible, and only getting stronger. What Shawnee needs now is a vocal champion and advocate, and someone with the experience and vision to put these pieces together to create real and meaningful progress.

I believe that I have that ability, and that I am uniquely qualified to serve as your next mayor. For nearly all of my professional life, I have been actively involved in the public, non-profit, and now private sector, putting in the work to bring success to the businesses and communities I love. Advocating for policy, and the people behind it. Working with businesses looking to grow and expand. Bringing together community consensus for the greater good. This experience, coupled with my education, allow me to not only work with you to create our future, but to put that plan into tangible, measurable action.

But to get there, we must recognize that it is time for change. We have to want more for Shawnee than “fine” or “good”. And we must vote. I would love to have yours.