Incumbent council member seeks four more years
Having been appointed to the Basehor City Council two years ago, it didn't take long for Keith Sifford to learn a couple of simple things: the position takes a lot of time and even the most basic decisions effect everyone in the community.
"I think it's a lot of pressure because the decisions you make not only effect you, but also your family and other people's family," Sifford said. "Realizing that, it gives you all the incentive you need to make the proper decisions. I want to do right by everybody."
On the eve of Tuesday's general election, Sifford sat down and discussed his past tenure on the City Council, hopes for the future and why he's seeking another four years to improve the city. Sifford is the only incumbent seeking another term in municipal government.
Months ago, Sifford had a knee-jerk reaction and decided he would not file for the April 2005 election. It had been an up-and-down period on the council, with wins and losses, and Sifford's first thought was to give someone else a chance.
"I think the short time I've been on the council has been a positive experience for me, but there have been times after a meeting or an executive session where you literally go home and lose sleep over things that happened," he said.
Today, he looks back on the decision as short-sighted.
"I had a lot of people come up to me and say they wanted me to run for the election," he added. "They encouraged me to keep on doing the things we've done. It (persuaded) me to take a chance to see through some of the things we've got going."
One of those projects includes implementing a community center, which has been discussed by the current Basehor city administration. Sifford feels the city is long overdue for a community center.
"I really think it's something doable," he said. "I know it would have been nice to have something like that here when my kids were in school. It would be something that would be a real asset to our community, something for young and old, alike."
Other items Sifford hopes to see through include implementation of a revised comprehensive plan, which he deems vital to the city's future, and hiring a new city administrator. Sifford said his approach to city government is a proactive one.
"Sometimes doing nothing ends up being a lot more expensive than doing something," he said.
Sifford said he's spent the past two years working diligently for the city, which he places right behind church, family and work as the most important priorities in his life.
"My church and family takes precedent," he said. "You've got to have your priorities straight. Sometimes those things will help you through things that happen (at City Hall)."
Although he's seeking a positive outcome Tuesday night -- one that places him back inside the council chambers -- Sifford said he would continue to support Basehor, a city he and his family have called home for more than two decades.
"I really feel like this is my city," he said. "I have no agenda other than doing what's best for the community and that includes my family right along with everybody else's."