Archive for Thursday, July 28, 2005

Mayor reflects on first 100 days

July 28, 2005

For Basehor Mayor Chris Garcia, July 21 marked his 100th day in office.

And while Garcia said the time has gone by fast and furious, it has been filled with progress.

In that time, the city's 12th mayor has overseen a search for a new city administrator, filled vacancies on the Basehor Planning Commission and, along with City Council members, has tried to broker a fiscally responsible solution to expanding the wastewater treatment facility.

"I think it's been everything I expected it would be," said Garcia, who took office April 11 after defeating challenger Joe Nick.

While far from satisfied, Garcia said he's pleased he's balanced the daily grinds of running a city with making strides toward keeping promises made while on the campaign trail.

Some of the progress made on campaign promises include:

¢ Improving communication. Garcia listed this as his top priority in the months leading up to the election.

"I feel we're heading in the right direction by communicating," he said. "That's an on-going priority for me, to keep open those lines of communication."

In addition to improving communication between city staff and elected officials, Garcia said he's also working to better communicate with the Leavenworth County Commission, Basehor-Linwood School Board and community members.

¢ Approving traffic safety lights at Basehor Elementary School.

¢ Improving the efficiency of city council meetings. After taking office, Garcia reconfigured meetings to include a work session before hand to discuss agenda items. He said the change has made council meetings go more smoothly.

"With the work session before, we haven't had to take time during a council meeting to discuss items again," he said. "I feel we're having more efficient meetings and getting things done."

¢ Encourage commercial growth to expand the tax base.

"We need to do what we can to encourage commercial growth," he said. "We're working with the chamber of commerce and LAD (Leavenworth Area Development) and we'll work with whoever else can help us."

The mayor said long-term goals include finalizing a sensible expansion plan for the wastewater treatment facility, hiring a city administrator and exploring plans for a community center and new Basehor City Hall.

On the first two, work has begun. But the third one will take time and thorough planning.

"I don't think we can get those things with different factions working separately," he said. "We may have to approach them in a different way."

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