Former postmaster joins mayoral race
Joe Nick, a long-time Basehor resident and now a mayoral candidate, said he wasn't willing to let the race be decided by a lack of choices and pledged to "restore honesty and dignity" to the office should voters lean his way in this spring's general election.
"I think I can help people knit together into a family the way we're supposed to be," said Nick, who filed paperwork Tuesday afternoon at Basehor City Hall officially entering him into the mayor's race.
"We don't need different factions opposing each other," he added.
Nick, a retired postmaster and former Basehor-Linwood School Board president, joins Chris Garcia, a former Basehor City Council president, as the only two candidates that have filed for the mayor's race thus far. Candidates have until noon Tuesday, Jan. 25 to file (see info box).
"I don't think anybody should ever receive an office unopposed," Nick said. "I think people should have a choice."
While Nick, a Basehor resident for 60 years, has never before held a municipal public office, he did spend 12 years as a member of the school board. Professionally, Nick worked as Basehor postmaster for more than two decades and now owns and operates Nick's Greenhouse on U.S. Highway 24/40.
Nick said another factor in choosing to throw his hat in the political arena wasthe city's mishandling of a benefit district for the U.S. Highway 24/40 sewer interceptor. In 2004, the city learned that a benefit district hadn't been completed for the interceptor project, although it was nearing completion.
"That was a big blunder," Nick said. "They just blew it."
"That's the major issue. I think if you look around you'll find more but that's the major issue."
He said a key to his campaign would be unifying the community and working in the public's best interest, a notion he believes isn't happening right now.
"We're actually one big family," he said. "When you're elected by the public you're their servant. I don't think (the current governing body) are serving us." He added that a big problem facing the city today is that developers have too much control over the functions of the city.
While Nick doesn't count himself as someone opposed to growth, he does believe the current governing body has failed in implementing a proper plan to guide new construction.
Updating the city's comprehensive plan, a measure the City Council is scheduled to vote on next week, should have been completed long ago, he said.
"I am not opposed to growth," Nick said. "We're going to have it and it's going to continue. If people of the community get what they deserve, it's going to grow and grow properly. One thing is for sure, developers should pay their fair share, period.
"You've got to plan. We have no plan for our roads, our streets, nothing."
Nick said he considers himself a mediator and a candidate that is open to the opinions and ideas of everyone.
Responding to questions or input from the public will remain a staple of his candidacy and perhaps, mayoral tenure, he said.
"I'll answer any question, attend any seminar that I need to," Nick said.
Win or lose, on Election Day Nick said he'll have no regrets about his 2005 political bid.
"When I decided to run I decided to run," he said. "I'll let the chips fall where they may. If the voters see fit otherwise, I won't regret it. You've got the vote, use it."