Archive for Thursday, March 22, 2001

Espinoza seeks first election to retain seat on City Council

March 22, 2001

Basehor City Council member Julian Espinoza said he is not running for re-election April 3.

"I really wasn't elected, so I am not actually running for re-election," Espinoza said. "I am running for election to the City Council just like the other three candidates."

Espinoza said he decided to file for the election a week before the deadline so he could stay involved in the community that he enjoys.

"I care about what goes on here," Espinoza said. "I live here with my four children and so far it has been my pleasure to serve in the community and I want to continue to do that."

Espinoza was appointed to the council in November, after City Council President Robert Vervaecke resigned because he was moving out of the district.

Espinoza said he was appointed to the post, based on the community work he has done in Basehor since he moved here in 1999.

"I think the way it has come about is simply because of the work that I have done since I have lived here," Espinoza said. "I certainly didn't count on being on the City Council."

Espinoza has served on the Basehor Chamber of Commerce, Basehor Pride and has been on the board of trustees for the Basehor Community Library.

He said through his work on those committees he got to know Basehor Mayor John Pfannenstiel, and when Vervaecke resigned, Pfannenstiel asked Espinoza to fill in.

"I think there was a desire to fill the position quickly because of all the things that were going on at the time with John's legal situation, and there was a council member who said he wouldn't come to meetings as long as John was mayor," Espinoza said. "I think there was a fear that there wouldn't be a quorum to be able to handle city business."

Espinoza said he has grown comfortable in his role on the City Council, but it wasn't always that way.

" I have a much better feel for it now than I did in my first month or two," Espinoza said. "When I first got my packet, I couldn't believe the action items, budgetary items and things you have to research to be on the council. Since that time frame, I have been able to do those things easier because I know what I am looking at."

Espinoza addressed the critics who have said that he should not have been appointed to the council after living in Basehor for only two years.

"My biggest stance is that I care about this community," Espinoza said. "When I moved here, I wanted to be involved and I got involved in several different things. I think anyone critical of my short time in living here should look at the things I have done since I have been here. My track record speaks for itself.

One of the things I really haven't heard anybody say throughout this election is that they want to be on the City Council. I've heard people say they want to make changes or get someone off the council, but no one has said they want to be a council member. I want to be a council member and continue to stay involved in my community."

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