Archive for Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Bonee pledges planned growth

City Council candidate seeks planned and controlled growth

March 5, 2003

With new foundations springing up throughout Basehor, the city sometimes appears like it needs a sign reading "under construction."

Throughout this period of residential development, two camps have voiced their opinions on growth, those in favor and those against.

Count John Bonee, a candidate for Basehor City Council, among the former but only if the development is a good fit for the city, he said

"I'm for controlled, planned growth," Bonee said. "I'm a realist. It's here and there's no stopping it. We've already lost that battle.

"My philosophy is to anticipate and prepare for it. Not try to outrun it," he added.

Bonee, 40, a local developer, received the second highest vote total during the primary election in February. His 98 votes place him firmly within grasp of attaining one of the three open City Council seats following the general election April 1.

His developments include the Parkway Place Business Park on Parallel Road and the Pebblebrooke retirement community on 155th Street.

Both developments are widely regarded in city circles as high quality and beneficial additions to Basehor.

Instead of discouraging growth, Bonee cites added planning measures and a more "business-friendly" environment as necessary steps for the city.

"We need to get businesses in to mix with the residential," he said. "We need a more business-friendly community."

Basehor, Bonee said, is experiencing growing pains and the role of city government should be to prevent that burden from spilling onto the taxpayers of Basehor.

"Whether heads of households or heads of business, we've all experienced growth and know sacrifices are necessary to keep costs under control," he said. "Unless you want to tax people to the poorhouse, you have to grin and bear it."

As a developer, Bonee said he understands there are reservations about electing him to the City Council. However, the job title shouldn't have anything to do with voters nodding his way April 1.

"The question isn't whether you're a developer but what kind of developer," he said. "If you're a developer that takes pride in the community, has it's best interest at heart and doesn't try to shoehorn a bunch of junk in I don't see it as a problem.

"It all boils down to integrity and accountability. If you have those, I don't think it matters what hat you wear," he said.

And if elected, he wouldn't just rubber-stamp developments up for approval.

"As long as it's a high quality product in the right location and isn't going to look like junk in five years, I'll consider voting for it" he said.

For Bonee, his high vote total during the primary came as a surprise. He'll be even more surprised if come April 1, he's one of three new City Council members.

"I'm not campaigning," he said. "If people elect me, I'll do the best job I can."

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