Archive for Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mayoral candidate campaign to focus on new development

December 31, 2008

Basehor’s city motto, “Basehor … and still growing” rings true for Council member Terry Hill.

“Basehor is right on the edge of growth,” Hill said. “Growth can sometimes be a problem, if it isn’t managed correctly. Managing a growing city is a lot different than managing a city with loss of industry.”

Careful and cooperative management of city expansion is one of Hill’s biggest ideals in his mayoral campaign, he said.

Hill said he had been thinking a lot about the future of the city, especially since his early December file for mayor.

“The most important thing for this city is bringing people together and finding a common ground,” he said. “It’s about bringing an understanding to Basehor residents about the direction the city is moving and why it’s moving that way.”

Hill said when he looked at the Basehor population, he saw it divided into two different groups: those who wanted the town to grow based around the original downtown area and those who wanted the town to grow around the U.S. Highway 24-40 corridor. As mayor, Hill said he would like to bring some unity to these groups and devise a growth plan that accommodated both sides.

“We have a big split there,” he said. “But both sides are equally important. Both areas of the town are equally beneficial, and both arguments are equally founded. My goal is to bring both visions together.”

In 1966, Hill’s father bought land outside of Basehor. Hill was 17 at the time and a senior in high school. The following year, he began attending Kansas University, coming home most weekends and summers.

“I fondly remember Mom sending me to Joe Daniels’ market to fetch groceries in downtown Basehor,” he said.

His wife, Christine, worked at the Eyerly Café in downtown Basehor all throughout her high school years, while Hill worked on local farms.

Hill and his wife lived in an old farmhouse outside town and built their first home together on 40 acres in 1976. He worked for Meyer Dairy in Basehor in 1980 and followed the business to Zarda, then Fairmont and Roberts Dairy.

“I have witnessed virtually all of the growth of Basehor from 1966 to date and, as a result, I feel a close attachment to the city,” Hill said. “I ran for council and now seek the office of mayor because of a sense of community pride and a desire to serve. I love Basehor and the people of this community.”

It is his experiences in Basehor and his fondness for the old, small-town style, Hill said, that make him passionate about the city’s expansion, including both downtown and the 24-40 corridor.

“The area surrounding Basehor has always been rich with dairy farms,” Hill said. “I support the Town Center project wholeheartedly and will work to use this area to its greatest potential. I also maintain that, since the riverboats carried goods up the Mississippi, business has succeeded along transportation routes. Thus, I also completely support growth along 24-40, a big line of transportation.”

Hill said he planned to take this concept with him throughout the campaign because, to him, it was a vital part of the city’s future development and success.

The deadline to file for mayor is noon Jan. 27.

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