Archive for Thursday, March 13, 2003

Former mayor seeks council post

Bill Hooker hoping for a return to city government

March 13, 2003

As the issue drawing the most debate during this year's election, the city's current and future growth is a concern for Bill Hooker, a Basehor City Council candidate.

And, Hooker said, it's a concern he would take steps to address, should he secure one of three open City Council seats during the general election April 1.

Hooker said he favors placing a moratorium on new residential growth.

"There are subdivisions already planned for over 1,500 homes," Hooker said. "It's time to stop giving new building permits and play catch up.

"Let's see if they're going to deliver before we go further."

Instead of a granting a free for all on new building permits, Hooker wants to see if current developments are built to their expectations.

"It has to do with planned growth," he said. "We say 1,500 homes but we don't know that for sure.

"The economy is going to predetermine where we go."

Although opposed to some residential growth, Hooker said he's in favor of the city's commercial and retail business expansion.

He said Basehor needs more retail businesses, the most pressing of those needs being a grocery store and another gas station.

He is also the city's former mayor, resigning from the position in September after 16 months in office. Hooker cited friction between he and the City Council as one reason for resigning.

"It was very, very difficult for me because I am just not a quitter," he said. "The City Council and I were definitely not working together. But on this end, I would have a vote.

"(I'm running) because I have some things I want to accomplish that I didn't as mayor," he said. "As a City Council member, I have some things I want to present for consideration."

Hooker, a long-time city resident, tied for fourth among candidates -- 72 votes -- during the primary election Feb. 25.

He tied with Joseph Hotujac and finished above candidate Dave Breuer. Finishing in fourth place, he's in the second tier of the candidates running.

Hooker said he'll campaign additionally to make up the difference before the April 1 election day. He also expects to walk away with a City Council position.

"I have talked to quite a few people who are supporting me," he said. "I'll spread the word and maybe put out a flier if I have time but I expect to be one of the three."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.