Archive for Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Dysart hopes to strike a balance

Candidate promises an even keel if elected April 1

March 5, 2003

In this political season, the views of a candidate for public office can sometimes be lost among their platform or party affiliations.

Nationally, we have the Democrats and Republicans trying to win voters' hearts, and more importantly their votes.

Locally, it seems candidates boil down to two groups: pro- and anti-growth, both of whom promise to veto this or approve that.

But Iris Dysart, a candidate for Basehor City Council, doesn't put herself into any category. Instead, she prefers balance when it comes to important issues facing the city today, such as growth and taxes.

"I'm going to stick with balance as it relates to city services, the budget and certainly the taxpayers of Basehor," Dysart said. "(When voting on an issue) I would have to look at what serves Basehor and it's city residents best."

And so far, that non-platform platform has carried Dysart far.

She received the most votes during the Feb. 25 primary election and could very well become the first female in recent memory to serve on the City Council.

Overall, six candidates weathered the primary (see info box) and will battle for three open seats during the general election April 1.

Dysart has lived in the Basehor and Leavenworth County area off and on for nearly 30 years.

She said she's not anti-growth but would keep a close eye on the benefits any new development would provide.

"We can't stop growth," she said. "But I think the city has to work to prepare for it. I don't know if the budget is prepared to deal with it.

"I don't know sometimes if we're gaining as much as we're giving away. There has to be some kind of balance," she added.

And with that balance Dysart seeks comes the task of finding a steady tax rate for the city. For Dysart, the resident manager of the Hickory Villa senior center, that means finding a rate both seniors and working residents can live with.

"Certainly (those on a fixed income) would be part of my thoughts. I'm aware of senior citizens' needs, who are on a fixed income," she said. "But I would look at the needs of all the people within the city limits, too."

Dysart said she expects to win a City Council seat April 1 and will keep campaigning to ensure she's left standing.

And should she win a seat, Dysart promises only one priority as her platform.

"I won't be influenced by any friendship or relationship," she said. "I just want to do what's legally and ethically right for the people of Basehor."

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