Archive for Thursday, February 10, 2005

Candidate the lone new face in city election

February 10, 2005

Terry Thomas, a candidate for Basehor City Council, may not have the name recognition of his three opponents, but he said that doesn't mean he's any less viable a choice for voters come the March primary election, and possibly, the April general election.

"I'm the new guy, but I think that's a good thing," Thomas said. He added, "I think if people have been paying attention to what's been going on, they'll want a fresh approach."

Two of Thomas's three opponents, David Povilonis and Bob Moore, may be familiar to Basehor voters stemming from their past campaigns for council seats. A third opponent, Keith Sifford, is a current City Council member and occupies one of two seats up for election this spring.

Thomas, a Basehor resident of two years, said he offers a new alternative. And, though he may be relatively new to the area, he's done his best to become part of the community. He is a member of the Basehor PRIDE organization, attends Holy Angels Catholic Church in Basehor, and has been a presence at past City Council and Planning Commission meetings.

For those unfamiliar with Thomas, here's some brief biographical information: Thomas, 49, served 20 years in the Army and is a retired Lt. Colonel. He currently works as a senior program manager for Science Application International Corporation, a Kansas City, Mo., based company. He has never before held public office.

He's gained the support of at least one voter -- James Washington, until this week a City Council candidate, said he will ask his supporters to steer their votes Thomas' way.

Thomas, a former Lansing resident, moved to the Falcon Lakes residential area two years ago because he was fond of the area and liked Basehor's potential for the future. However, recent City Council actions pushed Thomas into the political arena.

"If there are things that bother you, you ought to get out and there and do something about it and that's what I plan to do," Thomas said.

Some of the candidate's biggest criticisms of the current governing body stem from discussions regarding developments.

Thomas, a proponent behind planned growth, questioned the logic behind the current City Council's explorations into waiving excise tax fees and allowing pre-paid sewer tap fees for commercial and residential developments.

"We should be working with the developers and not for the developers," Thomas said. Adding, "It seems like developers are having too much say in city government."

Thomas is planning to participate in a "Meet the Candidates" forum Tuesday, Feb. 22.

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