Archive for Wednesday, January 31, 2007

User-friendly focus needed, candidate says

January 31, 2007

Creating a more "user-friendly" city is something Jason Gorup plans to focus on if he's elected to the Basehor City Council.

The 33-year-old funeral director is a new resident of Basehor and is currently working on building the Gorup Family Funeral Home and Crematory in Basehor. He said his experiences with the city government compelled him to file for election.

"I feel like the city government is not interactive enough with the people they serve," he said. "The government as a whole needs to be more accessible to everybody."

Gorup is one of seven candidates who have filed for three open seats on the council. Other candidates include Terry Hill, incumbent Iris Dysart, Jim Washington, George Smith, Roger McDowell and Darlene Carbaugh.

A primary election will be held Feb. 27, during which voters will narrow the field by one, to six candidates. Those six candidates will square off in the April 3 general election.

Gorup said there are several issues he would address as a council member -- from resolving the sewer problem to constructing a community center and handling city and business growth in a controlled fashion.

"First of all, we have to accept that we are growing," he said. "I don't advocate Wal-Mart or Applebee's. I advocate our future grocery store, which will be locally owned, and Kelley's. These are businesses we need as well as others to not only raise tax revenues, but help our housing market."

Part of his "user-friendly" approach includes refining the role of the council. He said that while the council makes important decisions for the future of the city, officials such as the city administrator, police chief and city planner should be allowed to do their jobs.

"We need to trust those people that we have asked to run things," he said. "We'll watch them, that's what the City Council is for, but for the sake of all of us, let them do what needs to be done to help us. Micro-managing is not the City Council's job and it is taking up too much time."

He said his love for serving people as well as his background as a paramedic and as a funeral director will also lend itself well to the council and to the community.

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