Archive for Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Council candidates set for forum debate

February 12, 2003

Eleven candidates filed for three at-large Basehor City Council positions and 10 of them will appear for a candidates forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13.

The forum will take place at the Basehor-Linwood School District office and current City Council member Chris Garcia will serve as moderator.

The Basehor Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the event.

The positions up for grabs currently belong to Garcia, Burl Gratny and Joe Odle. Only Odle is seeking an additional term.

One candidate, David Kalbaugh, announced this week he would not seek one of the vacant council seats because of time constraints.

"Because of time constraints, I feel I wouldn't be able to do the job the way the job should be done," Kalbaugh said.

"And there are a lot of qualified people running. In my opinion, there are at least three very good candidates."

Six of the 10 candidates will advance past the primary election, Feb. 25, and move forward to the general election April 1.

Below is a question and answer with the remaining four City Council candidates, listed in alphabetical order. The other six were profiled in last week's Sentinel.

Joseph Hotujac is a tool maker and machinist employed by May Tool and Technologies. He is also a life insurance salesman.

Why are you running? I have been a resident of Basehor for the past 27 years and I have seen many occasions where decisions made by the City Council of Basehor were not in the best interests of the Basehor community and its residents.

What would you change in city government should you win? I would like to change the way building permits can be acquired and the way annexation is handled, which would support the best interests of the city.

What are the most serious problems facing Basehor today?

The expansion of Basehor in terms of which Basehor is not ready for, and in some cases without asking what people want. The people of Basehor have a right to make their own decision on what is right for the community. I promise to represent the people of Basehor day in and day out.

Jerry Manford is retired from the Federal Aviation Administration. In 2001, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and has fought the disease since then.

Why are you running? I'm running for City Council because I have the time to devote to the position that it requires. I will not be a part-time City Council (member). I am also very grateful to the community that has rallied around my family and wish to repay the kindness with community service. Not to mention the fact that I can supplement my retirement with an additional $12 a year.

What would you change in city government should you win?

The first thing I would do is close my mouth and open my ears and listen to the people who live in this town. My job as a City Council (member) is to represent our residents. I do have a few ideas, for instance any contract with the city in excess of $500,000 would require a three-member panel made up of residents to insure the best value for our dollar. Another idea, give residents the ability to pay their utility services via the Internet. I guess the big question is what changes the citizens of our town would like to see.

What are the most serious problems facing Basehor today?

I suppose that depends on which side of the coin you look at. I'm not going to play the growth card during the election, everybody knows we're going through growing pains. It is also the responsibility of each citizen within this community to let their voice be heard. So let me talk about some other problems facing our town. How about the fact that our city has a piecemeal approach with design, with no regard for focus or the fact there is no federal grant money available to rural communities for the development of community centers so our children have a safe place to hang out. It's your time, your tax money, and your turn to make a difference.

Joe Odle is a current City Council member. He has served two previous terms as mayor and on the City Council. He was recently appointed as the Kansas State Fire Marshal.

Why are you running? To continue serving the taxpayers in the city of Basehor.

What would you change in city government should you win? That it be more sensitive to the needs of Basehor citizens.

What are the most serious problems facing Basehor today? Growth and the upgrading of our streets to handle the growth.

Charles Povilonis ia a manufacturing engineer for Interconnect Devices Inc., in Kansas City, Kan. He has lived in Basehor for one year and has no previous experience in office.

Why are you running?

As a fairly new resident to Basehor, I see a growing community that has potential to become a model for small towns in the area. If planned and executed properly, the citizens of Basehor have a chance to mold the city while keeping the small town atmosphere, which is one of the reasons my family and I moved here. I would like to have this chance to serve Basehor, and be a part of good things to come.

What would you change in city government should you win?

I am not aware of any changes that need to be made at the present time.

What are the most serious problems facing Basehor today?

Potential growth, taxes and utility fees are a few problems I am concerned with at this time. We all know growth is enivitable, but we must work from an accepted, detailed plan, and try not to grow too fast. We must limit the number of building permits per year, encourage locally owned businesses, and not forget about the existing Basehor, not just how far we can expand. I would like to see the city focus on what we have now, how to improve Basehor. I would like to see a few proposals for creating a downtown area. Let's give back to the citizens. As for the utility fees, I would like to see how other towns are charging the residents, and possibly changing the fees to lower monthly costs.

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