Basehor City Council candidate questionnaire: Travis Miles
Travis Miles is one of six candidates running for three Basehor City Council seats in the April 5 election. Below are his responses to a questionnaire distributed by the Sentinel to the city council candidates.
For information on the other candidates and other election details, take a look at the Sentinel's 2011 local election voter's guide.
Biography: Travis Miles
Family: Wife Lauren, daughter Reagan
Current employment: IT manager, Suburban Water, Inc.
Education: Kansas University School of Business, Bachelor of Science in information systems
Number of years lived in community: 25
Previous public offices held: None
Community involvement: None listed
What made you decide to run for election to the city council?
I have elected to run because I feel that I will be able to provide a positive contribution to the Basehor community through my education and work experience. I believe that I will be able to help the Basehor Community continue to grow as we have done in past years. I believe that we must continue to support development in the city of Basehor, commercial and residential, but the growth must be managed growth, and what I mean by that is that we must as a city have a solid infrastructure, whether it be roads, sewer system, etc., to be able to handle that growth, without placing a large financial burden on our community.
What special qualifications would you bring to the office?
As a graduate of the Kansas University School of Business, I have a strong background in all aspects of business ranging from accounting, finance and project management. I plan to apply the knowledge and skills that I received from Kansas University to my terms as a city council member. As a resident of the city of Basehor and also being locally employed in the city of Basehor, I feel that if I were to be elected to the city council I could bring two different perspectives to the position: first as a community member raising my family in the city of Basehor, but also as a businessman who is employed at a local business.
How do you plan to familiarize yourself with the issues that come before the council?
I plan to familiarize myself with the issues that come before the city council by first reviewing the information that is provided in the agenda packets for each meeting. Outside of that, I plan to conduct my own discovery with each issue and will look to other community members' input.
What leadership qualities do you possess?
Throughout my time at Kansas University, I was involved in many group projects that required someone to take on the leadership role. On many of those projects, I was chosen to be the team leader, because I am a motivated individual that is able to lead a team through a management role. A good leader is one that is able to listen to his team members and understand everyone’s position on the task at hand. This is the approach that I will be taking to the city council if elected. I will work with all council members on each issue placed before us so that I understand all council members’ positions on the issues at hand.
How do you plan stay in touch with constituents if you are elected?
I plan to stay in touch with other community members by attending community-sponsored events throughout my term. I also plan to use technology to stay connected through the use of my personal website and also via email.
Describe what you see as the main role of a city council member.
The main role of a city council member is to review the issues placed before us and decide what is the best decision for the community as a whole.
What is the city of Basehor’s best attribute, and why?
Our school system was recognized by the Kansas State Department of Education with awards of Standard of Excellence. Our strong school system is one of the many assets that will promote Basehor as a place to raise a family. Second is our small-town family-oriented community, which has and will continue to draw new families to selecting Basehor as a community in which to raise their families.
What are the three most important issues facing the city, and how would you confront them?
The rising cost of our sewer system infrastructure: I would look at a long-term view of our sewer system cost and make sure that we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that we are providing the best service to our community with the least amount of cost to our community members.
Decline in development: With the further development of western Wyandotte County, I believe that we must continue to support development in the city of Basehor, commercial and residential, but the growth must be managed growth and what I mean by that is that we must as a city have a solid infrastructure, whether it be roads, sewer system, etc. to be able to handle that growth, without placing a large financial burden on our community.
Former site of Wolf Creek Marketplace: With the hopes that a new business will come in and occupy the currently vacant building, the city has looked at ways that we can attract a new tenant to come in and occupy the location. We as a site, however, have already invested a large amount of capital in the development of that area and will need to have a new tenant occupy the location that can help to return taxpayers' investment through sales tax revenue.
Under what circumstances would you favor increasing property taxes or sales taxes?
I am opposed to raising property or sales tax, because it places a financial burden on our community members. I will only support a sales tax or property tax increase if it is essential to the continued growth and success of our community.
How would you increase the city’s tax base?
I believe that to increase the city's tax base we should promote commercial development that will be able to produce sales tax revenue for the City of Basehor.
What can the city do to increase economic development?
We as a city can increase economic development by holding down the costs of development in the city of Basehor. We must make Basehor a city where developers will want to come and develop, but we will be unable to do that if we continue to allow costs to rise.
Are you satisfied with the job being performed by the city’s professional staff, and why?
I believe that the city's current professional staff is doing a good job managing the city and ensuring that the city of Basehor continues to grow.
How would you evaluate the city council's decisions regarding the city's sewer system and sewer rates, and what would you do differently, if anything?
I believe that the current city council made the correct decision regarding the city's sewer system. The decision, even though it was not a favorable one by community members, was necessary to ensure that we have a strong sewer system infrastructure now and in the future. However, I believe that we should have started addressing the improvements needed for our sewer system long before now so that those improvements could have been done over a longer period of time so that we as a community did not have to incur a 40 percent increase in our sewer rates.